Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Saturday announced the restoration of mobile internet services for the general public from today, months after the internet shutdown was imposed due to the ethnic violence in the state. Addressing a press conference in the state capital, Singh said, “From today onwards, internet services will be opened for the public in Manipur”. Earlier, in July, the Manipur government announced the conditional restoration of broadband services in the state. Mobile internet services, however, remained suspended in view of the violence the state was undergoing.
Meanwhile, on Friday, the Manipur government asked the people of the state to surrender illegal weapons within 15 days or face comprehensive search operations by security forces, an official statement from the chief minister’s office said. In the statement, the Manipur government said that the State Government is willing to take a considerate view for the persons submitting such illegal weapons within these 15 (fifteen) days.
“At the end of the 15 days, Security Forces, both of the Centre and the State will undertake a strong and comprehensive search operation all over the State to recover such weapons, and all persons associated with any illegal weapons will be dealt with severely, as per the law,” it reads.
“The government also appeals to the people of the State to cooperate with both the Central and State Governments in restoring peace and normalcy in the State,” the statement added.
Manipur has been witnessing violence since May 3, following the protests by the Kuki and Meitei communities against the High Court’s order asking the state government to consider the inclusion of the Meitei community in the category of Scheduled Tribes (ST). Only STs can buy lands in hilly areas.
The majority Meitei community, which occupies the Imphal Valley and nearby areas, sought the ST status keeping in view their increasing population and increased requirement of land so that they could purchase lands in the hilly areas.