Wonderful!India shuts down internet again to curb protests

The Citizenship Amendment Bill was approved by Indian President Ram Nath Kovind in recent days, just a day after the country’s parliament passed the bill. The law provides a pathway for non-Muslim minorities from three neighbouring countries (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh) to become Indian citizens – not for Muslim minorities in their own country.

According to foreign media reports, the Internet in the Indian states of Assam and Meghalaya continued to be shut down on Friday. It is reported that this situation has continued for 36 hours, in a move to control a controversial and far-reaching new Civil rule protests. India is the second largest internet market in the world with over 650 million internet users.

Soon after the bill was passed, protests erupted in the streets of northeastern Assam and Meghalaya, where residents have long feared migrants from those countries. In Meghalaya, text messaging services were also temporarily cut off.

To control the situation, the Indian government has also sent in the army and shut down the internet – a measure the UN has condemned in the past, saying it violates human rights.

A report published earlier this year by digital rights group Access Now noted that India alone accounted for 134 of the 196 internet shutdowns recorded in 2018.

India has seen around 91 documented internet shutdowns this year, according to the Internet Shutdowns service run by the New Delhi-based Software Law and Freedom Centre.

Preventing people from keeping in touch with others, news and information through the media has become common in countries such as India. There is no official word on when internet service will be restored in either place.

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