Manipur govt bans circulation of videos, images depicting violence
The decision comes after videos and images of extensive violence circulated on social media, including one where two youths were shot at close range and buried
The Manipur government has prohibited the circulation of videos or images depicting violence and damage to properties to restore normalcy in the ethnic strife-torn state.
Such dissemination will be dealt with severely and those responsible will be booked under the law, said a government order issued on the night of Wednesday 11 October.
The order comes on the heels of videos and images of widespread violence going viral on social media platforms. One such video showed two youths being shot at point blank range and then buried in a pit by a group of people. The location of the incident and the place of the burial is, however, not known.
The order by the Manipur home department stated, "The state government views very seriously and with utmost sensitivity the reported spread of videos and images depicting violent activities, inflicting harm or injury to (any)body or damage to private and public properties through various social media platforms which may aggravate the law-and-order situation in the state.
"The state government after thorough examination of the matter has decided to restrain the act of spreading such videos and images as a positive step towards bringing normalcy in the state," it said.
Anyone in possession of such videos or images can approach the nearest superintendent of police irrespective of jurisdiction and submit them for taking appropriate action, the order said.
Any person found violating the order will be booked and prosecuted under the law and provision of misuse of technology. They will be dealt with under the IPC and IT Act, it added.
In September, mass protests broke out in Imphal valley after images of the bodies of two missing youths surfaced on social media and more than 100 students, mostly girls, were injured in a crackdown by security forces and police on protestors.
The protest prompted the Centre to send a team of CBI officials to the state, and four persons were subsequently arrested by the central probe agency. The four were taken to Guwahati for further investigation and legal procedures.
The northeastern state has witnessed ethnic violence between the majority Meiteis and Kuki tribes since 3 May this year. The violence erupted following demands by Meiteis for Scheduled Tribe status.