Internet services were to remain suspended as a precautionary measure in 13 police station jurisdictions of Jaipur until 10 am today after a seven-year-old girl was raped in the city on July 1, UNI reported. Suraj Chaudhry, an official at the Jaipur Collectorate, told MediaNama at 10.30 am that services would be resumed “in three to four hours”. Internet services were suspended on July 2, after rumours began to circulate on social media and mobs went on a rampage following the rape the previous day. Internet services were to originally resume at 10 am on Wednesday. Divisional Commissioner K. C. Verma had issued the order on Tuesday for the temporary restriction of internet services in the jurisdictions of the following 13 police stations: Shastrinagar, Ramganj, Galata Gate, Manak Chowk, Subhash Chowk, Brahmampuri, Nahargarh, Kotwali, Sanjay Circle, Bhatta Basti, Lal Kothi, Adarshnagar and Sadar. Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which prohibits five or more persons from assembling, was also imposed in these areas.
We had reported yesterday that there had been 11 internet shutdowns across India in June, according to SFLC’s internet shutdown tracker. Of these, 7 were in Jammu and Kashmir, and 2 were in West Bengal, while UP and Odisha saw one shutdown each. With the Jaipur shutdown, there have now been 60 reported internet shutdowns in India this year.
Absence of legality: Curiously a lot of the internet shutdown orders are still being passed under Section 144 of the CrPC. This is illegal.
The Union Government made the Shutdowns Rules. Which *are* problematic. But are the governing legal framework. https://t.co/1mHL0rlZIn
— Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) (@internetfreedom) July 3, 2019
Rajasthan saw 30 shutdowns in 2018, 3 in 2019
According to the SFLC, Rajasthan has seen only two internet shutdowns so far this year (the latest one makes it three). This is a huge drop drop from the state’s 30 known internet shutdowns in 2018, when it was second only to Jammu and Kashmir (65). Since 2012, Rajasthan has had 53 reported internet shutdowns in total. The Rajasthan numbers are likely to be more accurate than those of other states, since SFLC was able to supplement those numbers with data received from the Rajasthan government under the RTI Act.