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Repeated internet shutdowns in Indian states of Jharkhand, West Bengal in one week

Jharkhand’s Jamshedpur district saw internet shutdowns on April 9 after incidents of communal clashes in local areas were reported.

Internet services in Jharkhand’s Jamshedpur district were suspended on the night of April 9 after incidents of stone-pelting and communal clashes were reported from the local areas, as reported by The Quint. According to some media reports, internet services were restored after 19 hours, on the night of April 10. According to News18, prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC were issued in the district after tensions flared up between two communities over the discretion of a religious flag, days after Ram Navami celebrations on March 30, 2023. Why it matters: While the recent internet shutdowns were ordered to "curb misinformation" via online messaging platforms and to maintain public order, there is no evidence proving the effectiveness of such suspensions in restoring peace. Internet rights organizations have also found that preventive shutdowns are on the rise and that the state governments are not following the Supreme Court’s guidelines for restricting access to the internet. The arbitrary suspension of telecom and internet services in Indian states continues to affect people’s right to access information and freedom of speech and expression, especially during times of uncertainty. Internet shutdowns in the past week: Jharkhand’s Sahibganj district too witnessed internet suspension on April 1 on account of communal disturbance in the region, as per a Times of India report. In Bihar, the home department ordered internet shutdown in Nalanda on April 2 following Ram Navami violence, according to Hindustan Times. As per the order, all internet services in the district were suspended for 48…

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Curious about the intersection of technology with education, caste and welfare rights. For story tips, please feel free to reach out at sarasvati@medianama.com

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