Manipur govt to take stern action against those who spread fake, unverified messages

Imphal, June 25 (IANS): The Manipur government warned it would take stern action against those who would spread fake and unverified information and messages that trigger panic among the people, officials said. 

Manipur Home Department's Officer on Special Duty Rehanuddin Choudhury, in a statement on Monday, said that panic-mongering by fabrication, rampant sharing, and forwarding of unverified messages on social media and other mass media platforms would be viewed seriously and appropriate action would be taken against the enablers under relevant laws.

He said that it is a matter of grave concern that many rumours and speculations are being circulated in social media and online messaging platforms that additional central security forces are being sent to Manipur in view of the current situation in the state

"It is clarified that this speculation of reinforcement into the state has no basis, and it should be ignored as misinformation. The fact is that the security personnel requisitioned outside Manipur for the conduct of the Lok Sabha elections are returning to their original bases in Manipur,” Choudhury said.

The statement appealed to all civil society organisations, media, both print and electronic and individuals not to amplify any wrong information that may inflame public sentiments and cause untoward incidents, paranoia and a difficult atmosphere for law enforcement agencies to operate smoothly and effectively.

"It is to reiterate that the state government is taking all necessary measures to control the current imbroglio and restore peace in the state. All concerned are requested to cooperate with the state government in its earnest efforts to bring normalcy and peace," the statement said.

Meanwhile, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh met his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma in Guwahati on Sunday and discussed the security concerns of his state's mixed-population Jiribam district, which abuts Assam's Cachar.

Jiribam is restive following violence after the killing of 59-year-old farmer Soibam Saratkumar Singh on June 6. While around 900 tribals belonging to the Kuki and Hmar communities fled to take shelter at the homes of relatives and friends in two villages in Cachar, around 1,000 people, mostly belonging to the Meitei community, are now sheltered in seven relief camps in Jiribam. Though there was no official statement about the meeting, sources said that Chief Ministers focused on enhancing coordination among their respective police forces to effectively counter militant activities along the border.