In a significant development, the Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has called upon the state government to seriously consider the restoration of internet services in the state. This appeal comes in the wake of recent incidents of violence that have affected the region.
The MHRC, recognizing the vital role of the internet in ensuring the exercise of fundamental rights and enabling access to information, has emphasized the need to restore internet connectivity. The commission believes that such a step would not only facilitate the flow of information but also help in reestablishing normalcy and providing essential services to the people of Manipur.
The restriction on internet services, imposed as a preventive measure during periods of unrest, has had a significant impact on various aspects of life in Manipur. It has severely hampered communication channels, hindered access to online education, disrupted businesses and commerce, and limited the availability of essential services. Furthermore, the lack of internet connectivity has impeded the efforts of the general public, civil society organizations, and the media in reporting incidents of human rights violations and seeking redressal.
The MHRC, cognizant of the concerns regarding the misuse of digital platforms, has proposed that the restoration of internet services should be accompanied by necessary safeguards to prevent the spread of misinformation and hate speech. The commission emphasizes the importance of finding a balance between ensuring public safety and safeguarding the right to freedom of expression and access to information.
It is worth noting that the internet plays a crucial role in today’s world, enabling efficient communication, facilitating access to services, and promoting socio-economic development. Its restoration in Manipur would not only help bridge the digital divide but also enable the state to harness the full potential of technology for the benefit of its residents.
The MHRC’s appeal to the state government aligns with the principles of human rights and underscores the importance of upholding fundamental freedoms, even in challenging times. The commission’s recommendation urges the government to prioritize the restoration of internet services in Manipur, taking into account the rights and well-being of its citizens.
As the state government deliberates on this matter, it is hoped that a thoughtful and balanced approach will be adopted, ensuring that the restoration of internet services contributes to peace, development, and the protection of human rights in Manipur.