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Internet ban in Manipur partially eased; conditions laid down for broadband services

Manipur govt partially lifts internet ban, allowing broadband service but keeping the ban on mobile internet.


The Manipur government on Tuesday partially lifted the internet ban in the strife-torn state by conditionally allowing broadband service while keeping the ban on mobile internet. In an order dated July 25, the state government said that the internet ban was being partially lifted in view of problems faced by people as it has affected offices, educational institutions, health facilities, booking of cooking gas, and other online-based citizen-centric services among others.

The home department also laid down terms and conditions for lifting the ban on broadband service, including blocking social media websites and VPNs at the local level.

“Connection will be only through static IP and that the subscriber concerned shall not accept any other connection other than allowed for the time being,” the order read, adding that the internet service provider will be held responsible for non-compliance.

“No Wifi/ Hotspots shall be allowed from any of the routers and systems using the connection at any cost by the subscriber concerned,” one of the terms and conditions read.

Internet subscribers have to ensure the removal of any existing VPN software from the system and not install any new software or VPN App, according to the order.

Service providers have been asked to ensure to obtain an undertaking from subscribers before giving any internet connection in the prescribed format without fail.

The government extended the ban on mobile internet services across the state and saying the “preparedness for having effective control and regulatory mechanism for Mobile data service is not technically feasible and there are still apprehensions that the spread of disinformation and false rumours, through various social media platform such as Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.”

Violence first broke out in the state after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. So far, more than 150 people have died and several hundred injured, besides thousands taking shelter in relief camps.

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