Mobile Internet Services Resume in Manipur:
The Manipur government has called for the termination of the free movement agreement with Myanmar, which enables residents living near the India-Myanmar border to travel up to 16 km into each other’s territory without documentation.
This move, with potential international implications, comes as mobile internet services, suspended since May 3 due to ethnic violence, are set to be reinstated on Saturday. Manipur’s Chief Minister, N Biren Singh, explained that the suspension aimed to curb the spread of fake news and hate speech during the unrest. Internet services have been resumed there.
He emphasized that the ongoing situation is a consequence of previous governments’ poorly planned policies, rather than a recent decision. Singh also noted that his government has urged the Union Home Ministry to cancel the free movement agreement and highlighted that security forces were not effectively guarding the border, often stationed 14-15 km within Indian territory instead of at the zero point.
Manipur’s Chief Minister, N Biren Singh, has disclosed that the Union Home Ministry is actively implementing measures to secure 60 km of the international border in Manipur. He emphasized his government’s commitment to addressing the issue of “illegal immigrants” and highlighted the importance of completely fencing the India-Myanmar border. Singh also confirmed the ongoing collection of biometric data from “illegal” immigrants in the state and Internet sericies too.
Furthermore, the chief minister criticized the prevalence of strikes (bandh culture) and incidents involving widespread verbal abuse directed at MLAs, ministers, and police officials. He expressed concern about these issues diverting people from genuine concerns and generating conflicts among residents.
Singh reported improvements in the security situation over the past two months, with a reduction in the frequency of firing incidents thanks to heightened security force presence in vulnerable areas.
He emphasized the rising problem of drug and substance abuse among the state’s youth and reiterated his government’s commitment to the ‘war on drugs’ initiated in 2018. Singh emphasized the need to intensify efforts to eradicate poppy plantations in the hills, facilitated by a committee established in collaboration with the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and Narcotics & Affairs of Border (NAB). This committee will employ Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and drones for poppy plantation surveillance and eradication.
The chief minister also noted the resettlement of people from Torbung, Serou, and Koutruk, who were displaced due to ethnic violence, and the completion of prefabricated house construction in various locations.
Singh highlighted the surge in extortion, kidnappings, and other crimes committed by individuals posing as police officers and stressed that his government has initiated several measures to establish the rule of law in Churachandpur, Kangpokpi, Moreh, and Imphal.