Indian SC refuses urgent hearing of plea challenging internet ban in violence-hit Manipur

New Delhi, June 09, 2023 (PPI-OT): The Indian Supreme Court has refused to urgently list a petition challenging the repeated internet shutdown in the violence hit Manipur state. The internet remains suspended since the ethnic violence erupted in state, early last month. A vacation bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Rajesh Bindal said the Manipur High Court is already hearing the matter and there is no need to duplicate the proceedings.

The matter was mentioned before the bench by Advocate Shadan Farasat on a plea filed by two residents of Manipur – Chongtham Victor Singh and Mayengbam James seeking an urgent hearing. The Manipur government on Tuesday extended the ban on internet services till June 10. The ban was imposed on May 3. Nearly 100 people have lost their lives and 310 others injured in the ethnic violence in Manipur. A total of 37,450 people are currently sheltered in 272 relief camps.

Clashes first broke out in the disturbed state on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribes (ST) status. Meiteis, mostly Hindus, account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals Nagas and Kukis, majority of them Christians, constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts. Around 10,000 Army and Assam Rifles personnel have been deployed in the state to keep the situation under control.

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