Internet banned over Kamjong tension

IMPHAL, 16th Mar: In a bid to contain the violent situation at Chassad village in Kamjong district, which has deteriorated in the last couple of days following an incident involving two communities, the home department has banned mobile data services of all carriers for three days with effect from Monday under Rule 2 of Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules 2017.
An order issued by special secretary (home) Gyan Prakash on Monday stated that the unfortunate incident has been used by anti-social elements to vitiate the atmosphere further by using social media. Social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram are being extensively misused for transmission of hate video messages and images to incite the public, the order mentioned, adding that the social media has also become handy tool for rumour mongers and is being used extensively to incite the general public.
“Unless the use of internet mobile data is curbed temporarily, there is likelihood of serious repercussions in the law and order situation and the possibilities of communal violence in the state. There is an imminent danger of loss of life and/or damage to public/private property, and wide spread disturbances to public tranquillity as a result of inflammatory material and false rumours, which are being/could be transmitted/ circulated to the public through social media/ messaging services on mobile,” the order stated.
It further states, “…to thwart the design and activities of anti-national and anti-social elements and to maintain peace and to prevent any loss of life or danger to public/private property, it has become necessary to take adequate measures to maintain law and order in public interest, by stopping the spread of disinformation and false rumours through various social media platform on mobile phone for facilitating and/or mobilisation of mobs of agitators and demonstrators which can cause loss of life and/or damage to public/private property by indulging in arson/vandalism and other types of violent activities.”
“This order is issued to prevent any disturbances of peace and public order in the jurisdiction of state of Manipur and shall be in force for the next three days and with immediate effect,” it stated and added: “Any person found guilty for violation of aforesaid orders will be liable for legal action.”
Prohibitory orders have also been imposed in parts of Kamjong district after the violent clashes between residents of two villages over a suspected land dispute.
The measures were taken after villagers of Kamjong in the homonymous district allegedly attacked the residents and torched houses in Chassad village.
Some residents of Chassad village have been sheltered at a government camp, officials said, without elaborating on whether anybody was injured in the attack.
Police contingents have been deployed in both the villages to maintain peace.
Kamjong district magistrate Kengoo Zuringla clamped prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC at Chassad-Kamjong and along the main road of Sampui area in the hill district "for prevention of breach of peace, disturbance to public tranquillity, danger to human lives and properties and to prevent riot".
The order will be in force till further notice.
The restriction imposed under Section 144 of the CrPC in and around the district headquarters to prevent any untoward incidents came a day after clashes erupted between two communities in Chassad village in Kamjong district.
The Kamjong district magistrate's order came after the situation turned volatile on Sunday. As per reports, the jhum fields of a local villager were burnt down by unknown persons in Chassad village.
In retaliation, angry locals set an under-construction petrol pump owned by a local belonging to another community. Some workers at the petrol pump were also reportedly beaten up, said reports.
Later, as per reports, Chassad locals stopped passenger vehicles along the village. Unidentified youths also pelted stones at village elders who were on their way for a meeting over the issue.
The situation, however, is under control till the filing of this report.
It has also been reported that around 10 to 15 houses of Chassad were allegedly burnt down around 6 am on Monday. Because of this, some of the families of the village were forced to take shelter at nearby Assam Rifles camp.
(With inputs from EastMojo)

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