Imphal, Feb 12,
District administrations has imposed indefinite curfew in Imphal West and Imphal East district in the wake of the series of mass agitation being underway in the two districts in protest against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill 2018. The district administration has also issued order to stop broadcasting of peoples’ agitation against Citizenship Amendment Bill in local cable TV channels. Data Service has also been down since last midnight even though no notification regarding the ban has been made available to media houses. But source said that the data internet service providers have been asked to shut down until the impasse continues.
As per order issued by the district administrators of both Imphal East and Imphal West the prohibitory order is being issued under Section 144 of the CrPC as there is an apprehension of serious breach of peace , disturbances to the public tranquility and grave danger to human lives and properties in the area due to the situation arising out of the intense agitation launched by various Civil Society Organisations under the banner of Manipur People Against Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 (MANPAC) and People Alliance Manipur (PAM) against the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016.
In another order issued by the District Magistrate Imphal West, broadcasting or transmission or retransmission of agitation /protest of any form, inflammatory speech or public discourse that may incite to violence,or any programme which may lead to breach of public peace and tranquility in the interest of the general public by local cable TV channel has been prohibited under Section 19 of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1995.
The order means that the two popular local cable TV network – ISTV and the IMPACT TV will have to stop broadcasting discussion on issues of CAB at the same time any protest of agitation against the CAB bill at the street of Imphal could not be transmitted.
Section 19 in the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 conferred Power to prohibit transmission of certain programmes in public interest to the District Administration. If in case the authority thinks it necessary or expedient so to do in the public interest, he may, by order, prohibit any cable operator from transmitting or re-transmitting any programme or channel if, it is not in conformity with the prescribed programme code referred to in Section 5 and advertisement code referred to in section 6 or if it is likely to promote, on grounds of religion, race, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, linguistic or regional groups or castes or communities or which is likely to disturb the public tranquility.
Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents.