Violence-hit Manipur relaxes curfew but extends internet ban for 5 more days

Even as curfew was relaxed for a longer period in violence-hit Manipur, the government on Saturday extended the ban on internet services for five more days, citing reports of attacks, arson and exchange of fire.

An order issued by the home department said the internet ban 5023/" class="">would be effective till 3 pm on June 15. After violence erupted between two groups following a tribal solidarity march, mobile internet services were banned on May 3 and broadband services the next day. The ban on internet services has since been extended from time to time.

Dr Sapam Ranjan, a government spokesperson, said, “We are giving internet services in some government institutions and wherever it is needed for emergency services. Lifting of the ban would be considered taking into account the situation.”

The curfew, however, was relaxed for longer periods in most of the districts, particularly in Imphal East and Imphal West. The restrictions were relaxed from 5 am to 8 pm in Imphal. An earlier order said the curfew would be relaxed from 5 am to 6 pm.

The state capital last saw violence on June 4, when a seven-year-old boy, his mother and a relative were burnt alive inside an ambulance in which they were travelling in the Iroisemba area.

“No untoward incident has occurred in the past 24 hours in our state. This is proof that peace and normalcy are returning to the state,” said the spokesperson.

To curb violence, 114 companies of central armed police forces are deployed in strategic locations and combing operations are continuing in vulnerable areas, he said. So far 990 arms along with over 13,000 rounds of ammunition have been recovered, he added.