Sets Wednesday deadline for dismantling all towers

The outlawed underground organisation, the Kangleipak Communist Party (Military Council) has banned all mobile service providers in Manipur. A press release jointly signed by the KCP(MC) ‘commander-in-chief' Taibang Nganba and publicity secretary Washington Meitei said all towers should be dismantled by February 23.

The security guards and the family members of the houses where the towers had been erected would be given drastic punishment if structures were found after the deadline. The release also asked all those associated with the mobile service providers to distance themselves from them. No ground was given for the ‘ban.'

Employee kidnapped

Some days back an employee of the Aircel mobile service provider was kidnapped and shot dead by an armed group for being present in the office despite a ‘ban order' imposed on the company. A few days later another employee was kidnapped and his whereabouts are not known. The angry villagers of Kumbi from where the kidnapped employee hails tried to burn down the Aircel towers pointing out that the officials did not try to secure his release. Reports say that a whopping amount was demanded as ransom.

Out of about 28 lakh people in the State, it is reported that at least 15 lakh people depend on mobile service. From the day the Aircel employee was killed the offices had been closed down and the service has been off air.

Meanwhile the Manipur government has allocated Rs. 2.70 crore for installing jammers at the Central Jail at Sajiwa. According to reports, most of the prisoners there had mobile hand sets and were continuing their illegal activities giving instructions to associates over phone. Police recently recovered several hand sets and SIM cards during raids.

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