Local Indian Govt Shut Down Internet Before Verdict Of High Profile Case
Local governments in northern Indian states Punjab and Haryana shut down citizens’ internet access and text messaging before a verdict was to be released on a high-profile rape case. The case involved a cult leader with a large following who was accused of raping two women in his group. A statement from the Additional Chief Secretary of Haryana said the order was “issued to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order” in the region. Around 50 million people lost internet access for five days.
India has a long history of censoring web content, supposedly in the name of keeping social order. Some areas of the country have made certain things like liking specific social media posts punishable with jail time and it has also blocked sex sites The country also has a law prohibiting fake news, which has gotten users banned for posting altered photos of their prime minister.
In this particular controversial case, after the cult leader was found guilty, his followers violently protested the verdict, which resulted in 38 deaths. Trains also stopped traveling in between states and businesses were closed.
After 5 days, Internet and messaging services were restored this morning.