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Thu. Sep 29th, 2022
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IMPHAL/GUWAHATI: Mobile internet was blocked across Manipur for five days starting Sunday after rioters set ablaze two vehicles along the border between Churachandpur and Bishnupur districts the previous day, triggering a spate of social media posts that fomented communal tension in the state. Section 144 was clamped in both districts for two months.
The arson occurred during an economic blockade in the hill districts of the state by the All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur. The organisation wanted the Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill to be tabled in the just-concluded monsoon session of the assembly.
Besides transport on the route linking Silchar and Imphal, movement of trucks ferrying food items was partially affected along the Imphal-Dimapur and Imphal-Jiribam highways. Officials said a profusion of alleged hate speeches and videos on social media was the reason behind the suspension of internet. The autonomous district council bill had been recommended last year by the Hill Areas Committee, a statutory panel set up by the tribal legislatures.
One incident of arson occurred at Phougakchao Ikhai Awang Leikai along NH-2 on Saturday afternoon. Police fired tear gas to disperse a mob of tribal students in Imphal, injuring around 30 people. The students were demonstrating in support of their demand to immediately release the five protesters arrested for enforcing the economic blockade.

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