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Senapati, Manipur – October 4, 2023 – The Senapati District Students’ Association (SDSA) has issued a stern ultimatum to the Government of Manipur regarding the ongoing internet ban in Senapati District. Expressing their deep dissatisfaction with the extension of the internet ban despite their previous communication, the SDSA is demanding the immediate reinstatement of mobile internet services in their district, which they claim is currently in a peaceful state with no law and order issues.
In their press communique dated September 29, 2023, the SDSA had already expressed their displeasure and grievances regarding the ban on mobile internet services in Senapati District. They argued that access to the internet is not just a privilege but a fundamental right that every citizen should enjoy without interruption. The SDSA strongly believes that the continuous imposition of a mobile internet ban across the entire state, even when issues are localized to specific areas, is not only unjustifiable but also infringes upon the basic rights of citizens in a democratic state.
The ultimatum issued by the SDSA to the Government of Manipur is a call for the immediate lifting of the suspension of mobile internet services in Senapati District. They have set a deadline for the government to meet their demands, requiring action within 24 hours from 6:00 PM on October 4, 2023.
The SDSA has expressed their commitment to peaceful and democratic means of expression but emphasized that their determination to secure their rights is unwavering. In the event that the government fails to meet their ultimatum within the specified timeframe, the SDSA has announced their intention to initiate an indefinite economic blockade along NH-2, starting from 6:00 PM on October 5, 2023.
The association sincerely hopes that it will not come to this and that the government will promptly take action to reinstate mobile internet services in Senapati District. They stress the importance of respecting and upholding the rights and aspirations of the people in the district. Additionally, the SDSA has called upon the government to ensure that the suspension of mobile internet services is not imposed indiscriminately across the entire state for isolated cases of law and order situations.
This ultimatum from the SDSA highlights the critical importance of internet access for the livelihoods, education, and communication of the residents of Senapati District. The association has conveyed its willingness to engage in constructive dialogue and cooperation with the government to find a lasting solution to this pressing issue.
The response of the Manipur government to this ultimatum will be closely watched, as it has the potential to impact the lives of the people in Senapati District and the broader context of internet access as a fundamental right in the state.