GUWAHATI: The Manipur government has suspended internet and mobile SMS services across the state for five days from Thursday night. The state's home department said the action was taken to prevent the circulation of rumours and hate messages by elements through the social media platform over the ongoing agitation in Manipur University by the students and the faculty demanding the resignation of vice-chancellor Adya Prasad Pandey.
"Whereas it is reported that some anti-social elements are using social media extensively for transmission of hate video messages inciting the passions of the public and there is an imminent danger of loss of life or damage to public property and widespread disturbances to public tranquillity and communal harmony as a result of inflammatory materials and rumours which are being/could be transmitted/circulated to the public through social media/messaging services on mobile internet services, SMS services and dongle services. the government do hereby order the suspension of all telecom services except voice calls for five days...," an order issued by the state's home department reads.
The government warned that anyone found violating the order would be liable for legal action. The Manipur University Students' Union (MUSU) had launched the protests in the first week of June demanding the VC's resignation. In due course, the Manipur University Teachers' Association lent its support to MUSU.
They levelled a series of charges against the VC which include financial misappropriation and not filling up key positions that of a regular registrar, examination controller, librarian and curator etc. To resolve the crisis, the Ministry of Human Resources Development had constituted two fact-finding committees but the varsity fraternity has remained stuck to its guns, demanding that the VC has to go.
The protestors reiterated that the VC's removal was a "sine quo non to precede" any intervention to resolve the present crisis. Chief Minister N Biren Singh assured that action against the VC would be initiated if he was found guilty. The state government has suspended two policemen who were involved during a clash between the students and the police.