In the wake of violence during protests and police firing killing two people in Mangaluru, the Home Department of Karnataka has imposed a suspension on mobile internet services by all mobile providers in Mangaluru City Commissionerate and Dakshina Kannada district for 48 hours.
This comes after internet services were suspended in parts of New Delhi on Thursday. Internet services were also snapped in Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh.
In a notification, Additional Chief Secretary to the Home Department, Rajneesh Goel said that internet services were being prohibited on Friday and Saturday due to "possibility of fake news spreading" in Mangaluru and that it was a preventive measure to ensure peace.
"Reports on the ground suggested arson and vandalism that could lead to a serious law and order situation. Social media platforms can be used to spread rumours and pictures, videos and text have potential of inflaming passions," Rajneesh Goel's notification reads.
The internet shutdown is being imposed as per section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act and read with Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services Rules 2017. The shutdown began from 10 pm on December 19 and will last for 48 hours.
On Thursday, over 6,000 people gathered at various parts of Mangaluru to protest against CAA. However, protesters and police clashed, prompting the police to use tear gas to disperse the crowd.
After stone pelting was reported, police fired in the air, as per sources. However, a video shows a policeman firing at protesters.
Two people, Jaleel Kudroli (49) and Nausheen Bengre (23), who were critically injured, succumbed to injuries. The police have not officially said what injuries the two people sustained, but sources in the hospital say they were bullet injuries.
In parts of Delhi too, there have been internet outages, especially in places where the anti-CAA protests are taking place in full force. In the areas surrounding Jamia Millia Islamia, and in parts of South and East Delhi, the authorities have blocked all services. Citizens in these areas have no access to calls, SMS, or the internet.
The order states:
"Commissioner of Police, Mangalore has informed that incidents involving violation of Section 144 of CrPC have been reported in different parts of Mangaluru City and there are probabilities of more such incidents, which may adversely affect the Law & Order situation and threaten public safety.
Commissioner of Police, Mangalore has also informed that reports from the field show
that there are incidents of vandalism and arson, which are likely to spread and create serious law and order situation. And whereas, social media platforms are likely to be used for spreading of rumors and also for transmission of information like pictures, videos and text that have the potential to inflame passions and thus exacerbate the law and order situation
Director General and Inspector General of Police, Karnataka has requested that in view of violent incidents in Mangalore City, internet services may be suspended in the jurisdiction of Mangalore City Police Commissionerate and Dakshina Kannada District for the next 48 hours.
Therefore, in order to prevent the misuse of the social media platforms to disturb the peace and tranquility and for maintaining the law and order situation, I hereby promulgate this Notification under the provision of Section 512) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, read with the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rales, 2017 to prohibit the mobile Internet data Service of all Mobile Service Providers for the next 48 hours beginning from 10.00 PM of 19 December, 2019, in the jurisdiction of Mangaluru City and Dakshina Kannada District."