After months of suspension due to ethnic violence in Manipur, Chief Minister N Biren Singh has declared the resumption of mobile internet services for the public, starting today. He made this announcement during a press conference held in Imphal on Saturday. Earlier in July, the state government had reinstated broadband services with certain conditions, but mobile internet services had remained suspended due to the ongoing violence in the state.
On Friday, the Manipur government issued a statement urging the state’s residents to surrender any illegal weapons within 15 days to avoid comprehensive search operations by security forces. The statement, released by the chief minister’s office, conveyed that the government was willing to take a lenient approach toward individuals turning in such illegal weapons during this 15-day period.
“At the conclusion of the 15-day period, both Central and State Security Forces will launch extensive search operations throughout the State to recover illegal weapons, and individuals associated with illegal weaponry will face strict legal consequences,” the statement stated. It also appealed to the people of the state to cooperate with both the Central and State Governments in efforts to restore peace and normalcy.
Manipur has experienced a surge in violence since May 3, stemming from protests by the Kuki and Meitei communities against a High Court ruling that called for the state government to consider granting Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the Meitei community. Only STs are permitted to purchase land in hilly areas.
The Meitei community, which predominantly resides in the Imphal Valley and adjacent regions, sought ST status to address their growing population and the increased need for land to purchase property in hilly regions.