Haryana Nuh Violence: Mobile internet suspended till August 2. How internet shutdowns work in India? Explained

Haryana Nuh Violence: Authorities on Tuesday said mobile internet services will remain suspended in Nuh district till August 2, Wednesday, in light of clashes between two groups.

Livemint, Edited By Alka Jain
First Published1 Aug 2023
Mobile internet services will remain suspended in Nuh district. (PTI)
Mobile internet services will remain suspended in Nuh district. (PTI)

Haryana Nuh Violence: Mobile internet services have been temporarily suspended till August 2 in the Nuh district of Haryana after communal clashes erupted between a group of young men and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) during a procession on Monday. 

The VHP had organized a ‘Shobha Yatra’ when stone pelting took place leaving several injured and three dead. Stones were pelted and cars set on fire during a religious procession in Haryana's Nuh adjoining Gurugram. 

“In order to stop the spread of misinformation and rumors through various social media platforms, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Twitter, etc. on mobile phones and SMS, for facilitation and mobilization of mobs of agitators and demonstrators who can cause serious loss of life and damage to public and private properties by indulging in arson or vandalism and other types of violent activities,” the Nuh administration said in an official statement. 

How does the internet shutdown work in India? 

Usually, an internet shutdown is ordered as an administrative measure across India for various reasons including communal tensions, etc. It has become a common step to control law and order situations in violence-hit areas. The most recent examples are Haryana's Nuh district and Manipur

In general, an internet shutdown means an absolute restriction on the use of internet services in the affected area due to an order issued by government officials who decides the specific area, time period, and number of days according to the situation. It can also be restricted to mobile internet which is used on smartphones or broadband, or even both at the same time. 

The suspension of Internet services works as a means to wipe out online communications, which directly leaves an impact on daily functioning in the digital world. However, the government body imposes restrictions on internet usage to provide cover for violence. 

According to global digital rights group Access Now reports, India implemented 84 internet shutdowns last year, the most of any country in a time period of 12 months. In 2021, the number was 106. 

The Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency & Public Safety) Rules, 2017, published under the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, govern the suspension of telecom services. According to the 2017 Rules, telecom services may be temporarily shut down in a zone for up to 15 days at once.

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