Reported By: Ankur Sharma
Last Updated: July 25, 2023, 00:44 IST
The Manipur government is exploring possibilities to provide access to the internet to more people by easing restrictions. According to top sources, the government may lift curbs from lease lines and a few fibre networks. Importantly, the government is also exploring possibilities to lift instrument-specific restrictions for mobile phones in some districts.
Sources said that a few mobile phone numbers may get the internet but that will be only for officials and a few individuals. A top official said that the government will come up with more relaxations related to the internet but currently the authorities are analysing if that can be misused to disturb the law and order situation in the state.
“It is mandatory to analyse its effect if lifting restrictions can add fuel to the situation especially by miscreants in any way. The restrictions, if possible, will be lifted after a security analysis. A committee is also examining all the aspects and soon a decision will be made in this regard,” a senior official told News18.
Though no decision has been finalised, considering the improvement in the situation, the government is trying to lessen the curbs on the public.
A senior police official said that it is necessary to address the issue of fake news, which can trigger violence in the state. Currently due to restrictions on the internet, spreading false news or propaganda is not possible, but once it will be lifted, it would be tough to control the situation, he said. So, complete lifting of internet restrictions can’t be done now but the committee is analysing all its aspects, the official added.
The Supreme Court has already refused to entertain a plea by two Manipur residents against repeated internet shutdowns in the state rocked by ethnic violence and gave them the liberty to approach the high court on the matter.
A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and Manoj Misra noted that a division bench of the Manipur High Court has already taken up the matter in which an expert committee has been formed and directed to examine whether the internet could be restored in the state.