We have updated the infographic on Internet Shutdowns in India. It was previously published in the Huffington Post with the piece on ‘How are Internet Shutdowns impacting your life?‘. The updated infographic includes the shutdown of mobile Internet services in 11 districts of Rajasthan after reports of caste and communal clashes in these areas on 19th December 2015. With this, 5 states in India faced Internet shut downs in the year 2015, where the state of Jammu & Kashmir recorded disconnect from Internet in two separate incidents over the beef related violence, and continuous shut downs in separate parts of Gujarat due to Hardik Patel’s rally.
These Internet shut downs were ordered under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 that provides for emergency measures for apprehended nuisance or public disorder. Traditionally, this provision has been used to curb unlawful assemblies, but in the recent past, the Internet has been in its line of fire. A complete blackout of the Internet for an entire region is a serious infringement of the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution. Read our analysis on the legality of Internet shut downs under Section 144 here.