Four other districts in the state also joined Shillong in having internet services suspended; despite increasing numbers, the government had claimed that it had no data on internet shutdowns. A ban on internet services in Shillong was extended for the third consecutive day yesterday according to a press release issued by the Chief Minister's Office of Meghalaya as reports emerge of violence in the state following the death of a former militant. India has had the highest number of internet shutdowns in the world, with 109 out of 155 net shutdowns worldwide in 2020, according to a report by Access Now. Last year, hearing pleas challenging curbs imposed in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of provisions of Article 370, the Supreme Court had declared access to the internet a fundamental right. It had further asked magistrates signing off on such restrictions to 'apply their mind' and 'follow doctrine of proportionality'. What the internet shutdown notification says While the ban was extended for Shillong on August 15, the Meghalaya Home Department issued a notification restricting mobile internet for four other districts in the state. The notification cited reports received from the police headquarters of vandalism and arson. In the notification, viewed by MediaNama, Secretary of the Home (Police) Department C.V.D Diengdoh Secretary said, "Messaging systems like WhatsApp and SMS, and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are likely to be used for transmission of information through pictures, texts, and videos and have the potential to cause serious…
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