Thursday, June 13, 2024

Manipur bans circulation of visuals of violence

Days after a video of a Kuki-Zomi man burnt sparked fresh outrage in ethnic stifle-torn Manipur, the government on Wednesday declared it would book and prosecute people found circulating images and videos of violence.

According to The Indian Express, An order by the Governor issued through the state Home Department stated that the state government took circulating images of violent activities “very seriously and with utmost sensitivity.”

Since May 03 this year, ethnic violence has divided the state and killed over 200 people, an overwhelming number of them belonging to the Kuki-Zo community.

Mobile internet remains suspended in Manipur after images of the bodies of two Meitei students escalated tensions in the state.

Lately, a seven-second video, marked as “Kuki,” circulated across multiple WhatsApp groups in Manipur on October 8. The footage depicts a man wearing a black T-shirt and camouflage trousers, lying in a trench.

His face appears to have been severely injured, and his body is engulfed in flames. It remains uncertain whether the man was subjected to being burned alive.

The order said images of activities such as inflicting bodily harm and damage to public or private property are likely to facilitate the mobilisation of “mobs of agitators and demonstrators,” aggravating the law and order situation in the state.

The government appealed for citizens to approach the police if they were in possession of such visuals.

Meanwhile, the National Investigation Agency is probing at least three Kuki militant groups and one Zomi militant group as forces behind the unrest in Manipur.

The agency started the probe on instructions from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). It said these groups intend to create an independent Chin-Kuki-Zomi state out of Manipur, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Two of these groups are under suspension of operation (SoO) agreement with the government.

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