Manipur government extends internet ban raising constitutional and human rights concerns

Manipur extends internet ban amidst ethnic conflicts, drawing constitutional and human rights concerns, as the Supreme Court defers urgent hearing to the Manipur High Court scheduled for 3 July.

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On 25 June, the government of Manipur extended the state’s ban on internet services until 30 June, and the internet shutdown has remained in action since 3 May due to conflicts between ethnic groups.

Manipur’s Governor stated that the order was made to stop the dissemination of disinformation on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram while emphasizing that anyone caught violating the abovementioned orders will be held liable.

The Internet Freedom Foundation expressed concerns about the constitutionality of Manipur’s internet shutdown, claiming that it violates fundamental rights and does not comply with previous Supreme Court decisions. The Supreme Court declined to urgently hear a petition challenging the shutdown, suggesting that the Manipur High Court is already addressing the matter. The case will be considered on 3 July.