The Manipur government on Thursday announced an extension to the ban on mobile internet services in the state for another five days till October 31, said officials.
This comes barely a week after Chief Minister N Biren Singh said that his government would withdraw the ban within the coming few days.
A government notification said that the ban was extended after “apprehensions that some anti-social elements might use social media extensively for transmission of images, hate speech and hate videos inciting the passions of the public which might have serious repercussions on the law and order situation.”
The notification came from the commissioner (home) T Ranjit Singh which informed that the director general of police (DGP) vide a letter dated October 25, had “reported that there are still reports of incidents of violence like confrontation of the public with security forces, attempts to mob elected members residences and civil protests in front of police stations."
"To thwart the designs and activities of anti-nationals and anti-socials and to maintain peace and communal harmony and to prevent any loss of life, it has become necessary to take adequate measures to maintain law and order in public interest by stopping the spread of disinformation and rumours through social media platforms,” the notification added.
It may be noted that mobile internet was banned in Manipur since violence gripped the state on May 3. Mobile internet services were restored on September 23, however, it had to be curbed again four days later on September 26 after students clashed with security forces over images of bodies of two youths who had gone missing.