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Internet and SMS services restricted in Amravati as district sees unrest

India has frequently been credited with the highest number of annual internet shutdowns in the world.

There's a new internet shutdown incident in India and this time it's in the Amravati district of Maharashtra, MediaNama has confirmed. Mobile internet and SMS services have been suspended in the district, according to Harshwardhan Pawar, district information officer. While the restrictions were put in place on November 13, they will continue until November 16. An official order has been passed to that effect by the Maharashtra Home Department, Pawar said. However, MediaNama could not obtain and verify a copy of the order. The district has been under curfew after violence erupted reportedly in reaction to news of communal violence in Tripura. In 2020, India recorded 109 out of 155 net shutdowns that took place worldwide, according to a report by Access Now. Last year, while hearing pleas that challenged curbs imposed in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370, the Supreme Court declared that access to the internet is a fundamental right. Be a part of the community that supports MediaNama's work to keep the Internet open. Subscribe here.  Legal provisions related to internet shutdowns The judgement in Bhasin v Union of India delivered by the Supreme Court asked magistrates signing off on internet shutdown orders to ‘apply their mind’ and ‘follow the doctrine of proportionality'. The judgement also said that such orders need to be placed in the public domain so that they can be challenged. The complete curb of the internet must be considered by the state only as an extraordinary measure. Any order that has been passed to…

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I cover health technology for MediaNama but, really, love all things tech policy. Always willing to chat with a reader! Reach me at anushka@medianama.com

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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