SFLC.in said that the current internet shutdown disproportionately impacts people, and reminded authorities that it is a tool that must be used sparingly.
This statement was originally published on sflc.in on 20 July 2023.
The state of Manipur has been virtually cut off from the rest of India and the world for 78 days. The images and videos that have surfaced now, show the extent of human rights abuses happening in the state and how bodies of women have been used as a tool in the ongoing violence.
The suspension of telecom services has only helped in preventing the rest of the country from realising the gravity of the situation in the state. The fact that an event that occurred on May 4 in the state was only taken cognizance by the Apex Court on July 20, shows how the reporting of events has been hampered by the shutdown, thereby preventing appropriate responses from the various arms of the Government and civil society.
We at SFLC.IN, as part of our Lost Voices initiative, received numerous responses from people in the state who could not carry on their business, access educational resources, or even order medicines due to the continuing internet shutdown in the state. This prolonged shutdown will only create panic in the state and further delay the return to normalcy.
We urge the Central and State Governments to restore Internet services in the State of Manipur at the earliest.