Imphal, April 28
Mobile internet services have been suspended and a prohibitory order has been clamped in Manipur’s Churachandpur district after an unruly mob vandalised and set on fire the venue where Chief Minister N Biren Singh is scheduled to attend a programme at New Lamka in the district on Friday.
The District Magistrate of Churachandpur based on a report from the Superintendent of Police that there is likelihood of breach of peace, disturbance to public tranquillity and grave danger to human lives and public properties has clamped prohibitory order under Section 144 of CrPC in the tribal-dominated district.
The DM’s order said it would not apply to agencies of government involved in enforcement of law and order, maintenance of essential services and public attending the inauguration of the open gym and public meeting at Sadbhvana Mandap in the district.
An order issued by the state Home department said “social media has become a handy tool for rumour mongers and is being used to invite the general public which might have serious repercussions for the law and order situation in Churachandpur and Pherzawl districts.”
The order issued by the Home department “said to prevent any disturbance to peace and order the suspension of mobile internet services shall be in force for the next five days with immediate effect in Churachandpur and Pherzawl districts.”
Earlier the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Churachandpur district S Thienlaljoy Gangte in a letter to the Commissioner (Home) informed “a total shutdown has also been called by Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum and that there is likelihood of mobilisation of public through social media and networking sites which could lead to escalation of public unrest and unlawful activities in Churachandpur district.”
An unruly mob on Thursday night vandalised and set on fire the venue where Chief Minister N Biren Singh is scheduled to attend a programme at New Lamka in Churachandpur district on Friday.
Local police quickly swung into action and dispersed the mob but not before the venue was damaged with hundreds of burning chairs.
The agitated mobs managed to partially torched the newly set-up open gym at PT Sports complex at New Lamka which Biren Singh is slated to inaugurate on Friday afternoon, police said.
Besides the inauguration of the open gym, the CM is also scheduled to attend another function organised by a local at Sadbhavna Mandap.
The mob attack happened as the Indigenous Tribe Leaders Forum called for a total Churachandpur shutdown from 8 am to 4 pm.
The Forum claimed that despite the repeated submission of memorandums to the government protesting an ongoing eviction drive to clear reserved forested areas of farmers and other tribal settlers, “the government has shown no sign of willingness or sincerity in addressing the plight of the people.”