In this episode, we delve into the recent events surrounding the internet shutdown in Manipur, India, which lasted a staggering 83 days, raising critical questions about the impact of such measures on law and order. On Tuesday, July 25th, 2023, the Manipur government finally issued a conditional order lifting the internet ban, but with significant restrictions.
Initially enforced on May 3rd for a mere 5 days, the ban's extension was repeatedly justified by the government citing law and order concerns. However, the recent national outcry over a viral video of two Kuki women being sexually assaulted brought to fore discussions if internet shutdowns truly help stop violence; While there is a partial restoration of broadband services, mobile internet services continue to remain suspended.
Internet shutdowns in India have gained worldwide notoriety for their arbitrary nature of imposition. To better understand the implications of this conditional restoration and the broader context of internet shutdowns, Suno India Editor-in-Chief Padma Priya reached out to conversation Radhika Jhalani, a volunteer legal counsel associated with the Software Freedom Law Centre India (SFLC) one of India’s oldest digital rights organizations. SFLC maintains the Internet Shutdowns Tracker, providing real-time data and documentation of shutdown instances across the country.
In this episode, we explore the effectiveness of internet shutdowns in maintaining law and order, the significance of the imposed conditions, and the impact on freedom of speech and internet liberties in Manipur and beyond.