Manipur: Government Suspends Internet in Churachandpur Amid Violent Clashes Over Police Action

The Manipur government took action on Friday by suspending internet services in Churachandpur district for a period of five days following outbreaks of violence triggered by disciplinary measures taken against a police officer.

As of this morning, tensions persist in the district after incidents of vandalism at the offices of the superintendent of police and the deputy commissioner. A mob also set fire to vehicles belonging to the CAPF and removed the national flag from the SP office complex, according to an official statement to PTI. Concerns have been raised regarding the potential exploitation of social media by certain elements to disseminate provocative content, potentially exacerbating the already precarious law and order situation.

The unrest erupted on Thursday night when a crowd stormed the government complex and set vehicles ablaze, shortly after a head constable of the district police was suspended due to his appearance in a video alongside armed individuals, an official explained. Security forces responded with the use of tear gas and “minimum lethal force” to quell the protests and restore order.

Reports from locals indicate one fatality and approximately 30 injuries resulting from the clashes. In response, the Churachandpur-based Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF) called for a district-wide shutdown on Friday to protest the reported death.

Protesters have demanded the reinstatement of the suspended head constable, alleging unfair treatment. State PWD Minister Govindas Konthoujam, an ally of Chief Minister N Biren Singh, criticized statements made by BJP MLA Paoleinlal Haokip, accusing him of inciting hatred following the violence.

In a strongly-worded statement, ITLF has demanded the immediate revocation of the suspension order against the police officer and called for their departure from the district within 24 hours.