FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
IMPHAL, Sept 4: Home minister of Manipur Gaikhangam on Wednesday justified the blocking of the internet facilities in the state for an indefinite period. He said that it was primarily meant for safeguarding the properties of the elected members and public.
Talking to reporters he had said that social media such as Facebook and others were misused by certain sections. He said that some messages had been posted asking people in other districts to burn the houses of the elected members since a beginning had been made. It may be mentioned that the houses of all elected members in Churachandpur district had been torched. Several government offices, mobile towers were also torched. There had been attempts to storm the police station. However inquiries by The Sentinel show that there are some other grounds for blocking the internet. For instance, some migrants have been posting concocted news about outsiders being beaten up, driven out of the state. These persons who are safely ensconced in Manipur have been instigating others outside the State to settle scores with Manipuris outside the State. The threatening of expelled RJD leader Pappu Yadav to attack Manipuris is suspected to have emerged from such misinformation. Meanwhile the collateral damages of the blocking of the internet are enormous. All newspapers have been hit hard since they cannot get news from district correspondents. Some newspapers had decreased the number of pages and soon many of them may suspend publications due to lack of news from home and outside. All banks, the State and the Central government offices, commercial centres and business establishments have been ground to a halt due to the blocking.