IMPHAL/ NEW DELHI: The Manipur high court’s order to the state government to allow restricted internet access in certain areas, originally delivered on Friday, June 16, was made public today, June 20. Justices Ahanthem Bimol Singh and A. Guneshwar Sharma gave the directions after hearing several public interest litigations urging for internet to be restored in the state, a report on India Today NE states.
The state government had originally extended the internet ban till today. It is not clear yet as to whether it will be further extended. The bench said that internet access is necessary for “urgent and vital tasks,” particularly in the continuing student admissions process.
“Taking into consideration the hardship faced by the public specially with regard to the ongoing admission process of the students in the State and to enable the public for carrying out their urgent and essential services, the State authorities are directed to provide limited internet service to the public in some designated places under the controlled of the State authorities,” the June 16 order stated, according to Bar and Bench. On June 9, the Supreme Court had turned down the urgent listing of a petition urging the restoration of internet in the state, where it has been shut since early May.
A Supreme Court vacation bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice M.M. Sundresh has refused to urgently list an interlocutory application filed by the Manipur Tribal Forum seeking the deployment of Army personnel to help curb the violence, LiveLaw has reported. The matter will now be heard on July 3. Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves had pushed for an urgent listing, nothing that in spite of assurance by security agencies, 70 tribal people have allegedly been killed. Gonsalves noted that the apex court was the last hope for tribals.
The application urged for army men to be deployed to the districts of Churachanpur, Chandel, Kangpokpi, Impal East, and Imphal west and for a special investigation team to be established to look into the violence and who caused it.It also urged for first information reports to be filed against Kourounganba Khuman of the Arambai Tenggol group and M. Pramot Singh, president of the Meitei Leepun group. HC seeks govts’ response on Meitei-ST order review petition
Meanwhile, the Manipur high court has admitted a review petition seeking a modification of its controversial March 27 order that directed the state government to recommend the inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) list. “The first respondent shall consider the case of the petitioners for inclusion of the Meetei/Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe list, expeditiously, preferably within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order…,” the March 27 order had said.
The Meitei Tribes Union (MTU), opposed to the previous order, moved the high court. “It is this part of the order that we have sought a modification of. There is a Supreme Court judgment that says inclusion or exclusion of any community is the prerogative of the Parliament and the President. So this direction does not comply with that,” MTU advocate Ajoy Pebam told PTI. The court issued notices to the Union and state governments, seeking their response to a petition filed by MTU. The review petition will be heard on July 5. The ethnic violence in the state is believed to have been triggered by this order and the opposition to it.
The arrest by security forces of four persons who were travelling in a Tata Safari with a 51mm mortar led to mob outrage in Thoubal district on June 19. A huge crowd tried to storm Lilong police station to protest against the arrest by the Assam Rifles, India Today NE reported separately. The four, Haorongbam Ranjit, Ngangom Shanta Meitei, Abujam Naoba and Mutum Robindra, are being housed at the Lilong police station.
Bureau Report with Media Inputs.