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CAA-NRC Protests: 21 Districts In UP Face Internet Blackout

CAA-NRC Protests: 21 Districts In UP Face Internet Blackout

The 21 districts include Lucknow, Hapur, Meerut, Bulandshahr, Varanasi and Ghaziabad, among others

In Lucknow, internet service was suspended for six-seven days

The law and order authorities are closely monitoring content on social media platforms

In Uttar Pradesh (UP), the agitation is getting worse, and Yogi Adityanath government has once again suspended the internet services in 21 districts of the state till Friday (December 27) midnight. The 21 districts include Lucknow, Meerut, Bulandshahr, Muzaffarnagar, Kanpur, Varanasi and Ghaziabad among others.

According to a Mint report, nine districts in the UP were marked for internet shutdown on December 20. In Lucknow, previously, internet services were shut down for a week and were later restored on Wednesday (December 25) night.

Defending the decision to shut down the internet, the government claims this as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order in the country. Also, it is trying its level best to prevent the circulation of false information or rumours spreading through social media platforms and online channels in times of crisis.

PV Ramasastry, additional director general of law and order, said that the security professionals have been deployed in various districts of the state. “Internet services have been suspended for a day, and we are closely monitoring content on social media,” he added.

Last week, on Thursday (December 16), seven places in Delhi witnessed an internet shutdown, including Mandi House, Seelampur, Jaffarbad, Mustafabad, Jamia Nagar, Shaheen Bagh and Bawana, following massive protests. Apart from Delhi and UP, the government has also shut down mobile internet services in various regions of Karnataka, Gujarat, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam due to the anti-CAA protest.

India: The Land Of Internet Shutdowns

India has the highest number of internet shutdowns in the world. According to Access Now, India constitutes up to 80% of the total internet shutdowns recorded worldwide in 2019.

The Internet Shutdown Tracker reported that Jammu Kashmir recorded the longest internet shutdown in the country since the imposition of Article 370  by the Parliament on August 4, 2019. From 2012 to 2019, there have been 180 shutdowns in the country.