Amid protests against rearrest of man, Manipur CM announces lifting of internet ban

Amid protests against rearrest of man, Manipur CM announces lifting of internet ban

IANS Photo

Imphal, September 23 (IANS) Amid incidents of protests and clashes, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh announced that the internet ban in the strife-torn state will be lifted from Saturday.

Internet services were banned immediately after the ethnic violence broke out in the state on May 3 and were periodically extended considering the prevailing law and order situation.

Responding to the appeal from all sections of people and various organisations, the state government following the Manipur High Court order had partially lifted the ban earlier.

While making the announcement, the Chief Minister told the media that destruction of illegal poppy cultivation would continue in the state.

"Besides, the state forces continue to destroy the illegal poppy cultivation, the Narcotics Control Bureau would also take actions against the illegal poppy trading," Singh said.

Meanwhile, defying curfew hundreds of people, mostly women, continued their protests in different places of Imphal East and Imphal West districts against the rearrest of Moirangthem Anand Singh(45) by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday.

After a series of massive agitations since September 17 by many civil society organisations and local clubs against the arrest of five "Village Defence Volunteers", a special NIA court in Imphal on Friday granted conditional bail to all five men who were arrested on September 16 wearing
security forces uniforms and armed with sophisticated weapons.

Officials said that the authority released four of the five and handed over them to their family members but Singh was rearrested by the NIA for certain other cases.

"Singh, a trained cadre of the banned People’s Liberation Army militant outfit, is likely to be taken to Delhi or outside Manipur for further interrogation," a senior police official said on condition of anonymity.

Singh’s wife, who broke down in front of Imphal police station, said that she was told by the police that her husband has been rearrested in connection with a 10-year old case.