Even as the Rajasthan High Court issues notice (pdf) to the state government in a case challenging internet shutdowns, the state government has imposed Sec 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code in Gwalior; another district, Bhind, is considering shutting the internet down in the run up to Dalit protests scheduled on Thursday. News18 reported the district governments' response. Sec 144 allows the police to significantly restrict the freedom of assembly and protest in an area. The protests in question are against a Supreme Court judgement that increased the burden of proof on members of Scheduled Castes and Tribes before they could file police reports on discrimination and atrocities against them. Rajasthan has the highest number of internet shutdowns in the country after Jammu & Kashmir. In the last few weeks, internet services were cut off at least thrice over the span of three weeks to prevent cheating in a written exam to recruit police. 26 shutdowns have already been ordered in the state this year alone, which is over a fourth of all shutdowns in India this year. Read: 'IT Supercop' of Rajasthan talks about why internet shutdowns are ordered Internet shutdown rule challenged in Parliament Internet shutdowns are ordered under the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services Rules, 2017, under the Telegraph Act. The rule enables state and central governments to order suspension of internet services “due to public emergency or public safety”. The rule was notified in August 2017; internet shutdowns have rapidly been increasing in the last two-three years. There were a total…
Internet shutdown proposed in run up to Dalit protests in Rajasthan; shutdowns challenged in High Court
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