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Generation or spreading of misinformation will amount to sedition: Manipur government

Generation or spreading of misinformation will amount to sedition: Manipur government

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Imphal: The Manipur government on Monday warned people against spreading misinformation on social media considering the ethnic conflict going on in the state. "Generation or spreading of wrong information will amount to sedition," said a government order.

Chief Secretary Vineet Joshi warned that no one will be immune to prosecution under the laws of the country if they are found spreading or generating fake news, lies, rumours, or misinformation. "A number of individuals in responsible positions having many followers on social media have been observed to be directly involved in generating and/or sharing information in connection with the ongoing law and order situation in Manipur."

He added that the spread of misinformation can worsen the situation by "misguiding public opinion, instigating violence and rebelling against the authority of the state with or without the use of arms" even as the authorities try to bring peace and normalcy.

The government order specifically stated that the spreading or generating of misinformation will "amount to sedition" and is "sought to be curtailed". It asked each and every person, in or outside Manipur, to verify the information before sharing or publishing, reported NDTV.

Authorities have already identified social media accounts from both communities - the Kuki tribe and the Meieis - for spreading fake news. "We are aware that many social media accounts based abroad and in India have been spreading fake news and misinformation on the Manipur crisis. Some of them are verified handles. We are not taking it lightly. If not now because of the law and order problem, action will happen sooner than anyone would expect. We are certain about that," said a source close to the matter anonymously to NDTV.

Manipur has been without internet for nearly a month since the clash started on May 3 over the Meitei's demand to be included under the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category.

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