India’s internet shutdown a common practice


Internet shutdown has been a major challenge for citizens of India where every now and then internet shutdown is used as one of the common  tools for  suppression of  people’s voices.  In view of the recently trials of the famous spiritual leader who was convicted of raping two females,  Internet shutdown was carried out in Haryana and Punjab state where  more than 25 million people live 24 to 29 August. In an effort to control the situation and chaos , the government shut down mobile internet services during the trial and sentencing of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the leader of Dera Sacha Sauda.  The situation worsening so much that around 30 people lost their lives and  all forms of communication in  2G, 3G, 4G, CDMA and GPRS, and all SMS services were shutdown.
Likewise in yet another outcry of battle it has been more than  two months of continuous Internet shutdown in Darjeeling, West Bengal. Two months back, on 19th June, 2017, mobile Internet services were blocked in the town following deaths of party supporters in violent clashes between the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and security forces after the former called for a complete strike in its agitation for a separate Gorkhaland.


According to a report by the Software Freedom Law Centre, India has seen 20 internet shutdowns in 2017. It said that since 2012, the Indian government has shut down the internet 79 times.

As the Internet is a key enabler of many fundamental rights, including freedom of speech and expression, such frequent disruptions have been a cause for concern. They threaten the democratic working of nations, and also point to the gradual normalization of the mindset that permits such blanket restriction on Internet access

According to the United Nations Human Rights Council, which passed a non-binding resolution in June that condemns countries that intentionally take away or disrupt its citizens’ internet access.

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