An unidentified government official told The Indian Express that since the content of the video was inflammatory, it could further disrupt law and order situation in the northeastern state,
Under Section 69 (A) of the Information Technology Act, 2000, the Central government has the authority to direct social media platforms to takedown content.
The blocking orders under section 69A are issued in “the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognisable offence relating to the above.”
The Centre on Wednesday night had also issued a non-compliance order to Twitter after the video was widely shared on the social media platform, according to NDTV. A day later, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology warned social media platforms about compliance with new Information and Technology rules, reported NDTV.
The Centre warned Twitter that circulation of videos that could lead to problems in law and order are not permitted.
According to the 2021 amendment to the IT Rules, social media intermediaries have to send reminders to users not to post content that may be illegal or harmful to others. This includes content that is “paedophilic, pornographic, defamatory and obscene”.
The National Commission for Women also issued an order asking Twitter to remove the video. The women’s body said that the video compromises the identities of the complainant.
The video from May 4 was widely shared on social media on Wednesday and has drawn sharp reactions from the Opposition criticising the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state and the Centre for failing to curb the ethnic violence in Manipur. The Supreme Court, which took cognisance of the assault on the women, has called it a “gross constitutional failure”.
A day before the incident, the state government had shutdown internet services in the state when reports of violence between the Kuki and the Meitei communities were first reported in Manipur. It was only on Wednesday that the video was shared on Twitter, compelling Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speak up on the issue for the first time in 76 days.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has announced that the first arrest in the case was made on Thursday. This is two months after a zero first information report on the incident was registered. A zero FIR lets any police station accept and register a complaint and then forward it to the pertinent station.
The police arrested the alleged mastermind of the assault on the women from the Thoubal district in the early hours of Thursday. He was prominently seen in the video of the incident.