SMS and mobile internet has been suspended in Shillong, according to The Hindu. Meghalaya's Chief Minister's Office confirmed to MediaNama that there was an internet shutdown in place on Monday. An argument between a bus driver from the Khasi community and a minority Sikh woman is reported by Scroll.in to have escalated into a city-wide curfew, which resulted in this shutdown. Indrakshi Chaudhury, a graduate student at Shillong's North-Eastern Hill University, said that access to mobile internet across multiple carriers has been blocked. The Chief Minister's Office said that the shutdown has been in place since Friday. MediaNama has reached out to Airtel to verify the nature of the shutdown. WhatsApp rumours led to tensions The Scroll report says that while the dispute between the Khasi bus driver and the Sikh woman was resolved, WhatsApp messages spread fake news that night that two Khasi boys were decapitated by a group of Sikhs. An angry mob then gathered at Punjabi Line, a slum where much of Shillong's Sikh minority lives. Tear gas shells were used to disperse the crowd. Since then, a city-wide curfew has been in place, with a brief break to let tourists leave. SMS on top of mobile internet has been shut down. Chaudhury, the graduate student, said that while SMS worked on Jio, messages were not going through on BSNL. Internet shutdowns in India Most internet shutdowns come as a bid by the district administration to paralyze rumour-mongering and further inflaming of tensions. While the telecom department issued…
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