In a democracy like India, internet shutdowns have become a norm. The authorities suspend mobile internet and broadband services whenever there has been violence, widespread protests because of social media posts or otherwise.
According to Brookings Institution report, India lost over Rs. 6, 548 cores in business due to internet shutdowns in the past 3 years.
Similarly, The Software Freedom Law Centre’s has an internet shutdown tracker which lets everyone check data on internet services being suspended.
Below is the list of internet shutdowns that have taken place in India in 2017 so far.
Jammu and Kashmir
The valley has led the list in facing the most number of internet shutdowns in India. In 2017 so far, there have been 10 cases of internet suspensions due to various incidents. Recently, due to the killing of Amarnath Yatris in Kashmir, internet services were terminated as a precaution. Earlier, internet services were suspended for around 17 days after the killing of the killing of Burhan Wani. In total the valley has seen around 40 internet shutdowns since 2011.
India’s largest state by area and known for its forts and palaces have seen 3 internet shutdowns so far in 2017. In June 2017, mobile internet services were suspended in Nagaur and Churu as there were vehement protests by Rajputs over the encounter of gangster Anandpal Singh. Earlier in March, a scuffle had broken out between two rival groups because of which services were suspended in Rajasthan’s Sikar district.
The state has seen 5 shutdowns so far in 2017. In March, internet services and bulk mobile messaging was suspended in the apprehension of any untoward incidents which might occur due to the proposed Jat agitation to Delhi. Earlier in January 31st, the Jat quota agitation resulted in internet services being suspended in certain sensitive areas to prevent the spread of the rumor.
Internet services have so far been suspended for 2 times in the state. In June 2017, after the main accused of the Saharanpur violence was arrested, internet services were shut down across the entire district for two days.
Earlier, the UP government had suspended internet services in the Saharanpur area to stop rumor mongering and violence after clashes took place between the Dalit and Rajput community.
So far this year, there has been only one instance of internet shut down after police opened fire during a farmers protest at Mandsaur. Later on, Internet services in Mandsaur, Ratlam, and Ujjain were suspended.
Mobile internet services were taken down 3 times so far in West Bengal. Due to a Facebook post, intense clashes broke out in Baduria and Basirhat in North 24 Parganas after which internet services were disrupted. Similarly, due to unrest in Darjeeling over Gorkhaland agitation, web services were taken down.
Mobile internet services were taken down multiple times from January 30th, 2017, as clashes took place between urban local bodies and the state government over the reservation in civic body elections. So far internet services have been taken down 2 times in 2017.
Mobile internet services were taken down once in Nasik on 5th June 2017 due to the state wide protests by the farmers.
So far internet services have been taken down 2 times in 2017. Firstly in April, services were suspended for 48 hours in the wake of “objectionable post” on social media.