no internet

Mobile Internet and bulk messaging services have been cut off in Nashik, Maharashtra, after the city saw violent protests in the wake of an alleged rape attempt on a 5-year old girl by a teenage boy, reports the Hindustan Times.

Nashik police commissioner Ravindra Singhal issued orders to all network operators to suspend their mobile internet and bulk messaging services for two days, on Monday this week. The police mentioned that the measure has been undertaken to maintain peace and prevent circulation of provocative message in social media.

Last month, mobile internet services were cut off in Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh with authorities again citing ‘to maintain law and order and curb the spread of rumours through social media’. Typically bans such as this are enforced under Section 144 of the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) which allows local law administration to ban unlawful assembly and justify short bans on Internet services.

Note Mobile Internet services continue to be cut off in the Kashmir valley extending to three months now. Services were cut in over 10 districts on July 9 after security forces killed militant Burhan Wani which sparked widespread protests and violence.

This is the 17th incident where mobile Internet services were cut since September 2015. The number of Internet blocks has increased dramatically the Supreme Court’s ruling which upheld the districts and states’ right to ban mobile Internet services for maintaining law and order in February.

List of Internet blocks since September 2015

– September 40, 3026: Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh (link)

– August 12,2016: Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh/ one day (link)

– July 11, 2016: Jammu and Kashmir districts of Ananatnag, Shopian, Pulgam and Sopore/ 3 months and ongoing/ (link).

– July 1st, 2016: Barmer and Jaisalmer (Rajasthan)/48 hours/ (link)

– June 17th, 2016: Jammu(Jammu and Kashmir)/unknown length of time/ Mobile Internet and bulk SMS (link)

– June 4th 2016: Sonipat (Haryana)/unknown length of time/Mobile Internet and bulk SMS (link)

– May 17th 2016: Azamgarh (Uttar Pradesh)/unknown length of time/Wireline and Mobile Internet (link)

– April 18th 2016: Gujarat/3 days (link)

– April 16th 2016: Jharkhand/unknown length of time (link)

– April 14th 2016: Kashmir/1 day (link)

– February 28th 2016: Gujarat/4 hours (link)

– February 19th 2016: Haryana/more than 1 day/Mobile Internet and SMS (link)

– December 20, 2015: Rajasthan/unknown (link)

– September 25th 2015: Jammu & Kashmir/2 days/Wireline and Mobile Internet (link)

– September 4th 2015: Manipur/2 days/Wireline and Mobile Internet (link)

– September 2nd 2015: Gujarat/ 1 week  (link)

Also read: 37 Internet Shutdowns in India in 11 states since 2015

Image source: Flick user ben dalton under CC BY-SA 2.0