Imphal: Internet ban in the aftermath of ethnic clashes in Manipur continues for the third consecutive week, causing massive inconvenience to locals as well as media from within and outside the state.

On Thursday, the All Manipur Working Journalists Union (AMWJU) and Editors Guild Manipur (EGM) submitted a letter to chief minister N Biren Singh through the Information and Public Relations minister.

The letter, signed by the president of AMWJU and EGM, urged concerned authorities to restore internet connectivity for media houses in the state, reiterating the fact that functionality of both print and electronic media has been affected.

It further stated that print media houses were unable to procure and restock newsprint and printing materials owing to the blockade of the National Highways of Manipur and that the state government must intervene to alleviate the problems. Several truckloads of newsprint are stuck at Mao in Senapati district, the letter stated.

Noting that Internet service was available at the Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) and Manipur Press Club, the state’s media fraternity demanded the Manipur CM to lift the Internet ban on media houses, especially those with lease lines.

Along with the demand, the scribes also warned that failure to restore Internet connectivity might result in them ceasing work altogether.

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The media fraternity justified its demand by explaining that the public might face the brunt of the lack of information if the publication or broadcast of news was to halt.

“We truly regret the outcome of our decision, but this government must take the responsibility for the same,” the scribes added.

It may be noted that mobile data service was temporarily suspended on the evening of May 3, and the suspension of broadband connection and other Internet services followed on May 4 after ethnic riots broke out in Manipur.

Also Read | Manipur: Hospital, govt offices remain partially operational in Ukhrul 

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