Since May 3, the state of Manipur has been grappling with an internet ban due to a incident with ambulance and also escalating violence between the Meitei and Kuki communities. This article provides an overview of the incident that led to the ban, including the burning of an ambulance in the Iroisemba area of Imphal West. Furthermore, it explores the reasons behind the extension of the ban and the temporary suspension of the blockade along the national highway by the Committee on Tribal Unity, Sadar-Hills Kangpokpi district. Additionally, the article highlights a recent consultation held by tribal bodies with various stakeholders to address pertinent issues.
Incident of Ambulance Arson
On a fateful day, an ambulance traveling from Phayeng to Imphal city was set ablaze in the Iroisemba area, resulting in its complete destruction. The incident occurred at approximately 7 pm on Sunday, but details regarding casualties or the motive behind the act were not immediately shared by the police. Authorities have launched a thorough investigation into the incident, seeking to uncover the truth and hold those responsible accountable. Such incidents of violence further aggravated tensions between the Meitei and Kuki communities.
Extension of Internet Ban
Citing the continued incidents of arson targeting houses and premises, the Manipur government has extended the internet ban for an additional five days. The ban, initially imposed on May 3, encompasses both mobile data services and broadband connectivity. The order to extend the ban was issued by H Gyaan Prakash, the commissioner of the Home department. While the ban aims to restore peace and prevent the further spread of violence, it also raises concerns about the impact on communication, access to information, and the overall development of the region.
Temporary Suspension of Blockade
In a separate development, the Committee on Tribal Unity, Sadar-Hills Kangpokpi district, decided to temporarily suspend the blockade along the national highway. This decision, taken in light of recent consultations held on June 4, indicates a positive step toward de-escalating tensions. The consultations involved various civil society organizations, village chiefs, youth leaders, and women’s forums, creating a platform for dialogue and addressing the underlying issues contributing to the violence.
The internet ban in Manipur, implemented following the outbreak of violence between the Meitei and Kuki communities, continues to affect the region. The burning of an ambulance in the Iroisemba area highlights the severity of the situation and the need for swift action. The extension of the ban, coupled with the temporary suspension of the blockade, reflects the government’s efforts to restore peace and promote dialogue among various stakeholders. Addressing the root causes of communal tensions remains crucial for long-term stability in Manipur.
The internet ban in Manipur remains in effect as a consequence of the violent clashes between the Meitei and Kuki communities. This ban, implemented to mitigate the escalation of tensions, continues to have a significant impact on the region. The recent incident involving the burning of an ambulance in the Iroisemba area serves as a stark reminder of the gravity of the situation and the urgent need for decisive measures. The government’s decision to extend the ban, accompanied by the temporary suspension of the blockade, demonstrates their commitment to restoring peace and fostering dialogue among the various stakeholders involved.
It is essential to recognize that merely addressing the symptoms of the conflict, such as the internet ban, is not sufficient for long-term stability in Manipur. To achieve lasting peace, the root causes of communal tensions must be identified and effectively resolved. Engaging in open and honest dialogue, involving all relevant parties, can help shed light on these underlying issues and pave the way for comprehensive solutions. By encouraging collaboration between civil society organizations, village chiefs, youth leaders, and women’s forums, the government aims to foster an inclusive environment where diverse perspectives are considered and reconciled.
In the pursuit of sustainable peace, it is crucial for the government and the people of Manipur to work together to build trust, promote understanding, and address the grievances that have fueled the communal divisions. Efforts must focus on fostering a sense of unity and shared identity among all communities, promoting respect for diversity, and fostering economic development opportunities that benefit all residents of Manipur. Through a holistic approach that encompasses both immediate measures and long-term strategies, Manipur can aspire to a future where peace and harmony prevail