Mobile data was shut down in parts of Hooghly in West Bengal on May 13, PTI reports. Chandannagar and Serampore, two cities in the district, will not have mobile internet until May 17, according to officials quoted by PTI. The restrictions reportedly came after communal clashes broke out in those areas when some people crossed over containment zone limits to use a public toilet. We have reached out to the Cellular Operators Association of India to confirm if a blocking order is in place.
West Bengal is no stranger to lengthy internet shutdowns — Darjeeling has had the longest internet shutdown outside Jammu & Kashmir, with the city spending a stunning 100 days without mobile data. According to the Software Freedom Law Centre, mobile data was snapped in the state in January this year, and 5 times in 2019.
Supreme Court refuses to lift J&K 2G restriction
The Supreme Court on May 11 directed the Central government to constitute a “special committee” headed by the Union Home Secretary to ascertain whether it’s necessary to continue restrictions on the internet in Jammu & Kashmir, effectively refusing to order those restrictions lifted by itself. The committee will be headed by the Union Home Secretary, and also consists of Union Communications Secretary, and chief secretary of Jammu & Kashmir. The court directed the committee to examine the issues raised by the petitioners, as well as the government’s responses.