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Mobile Internet remains suspended in parts of UP; restored in Assam

Source: PTI
December 20, 2019 13:39 IST

IMAGE: A police personnel attempts to douse a burning vehicle after protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) turned violent at Madeyganj outpost in Lucknow, on Thursday. Photograph: Nand Kumar/PTI Photo

Mobile internet service resumed in Assam on Friday morning, the 10th day after it was banned during protests against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

Meanwhile, mobile internet and text messaging services of all telecom operators remained suspended in Lucknow and some other parts of Uttar Pradesh on Friday in view of protests.

In Lucknow, the suspension was announced on Thursday.

Additional Chief Secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi had Thursday night issued an order to suspend the services till Saturday noon.

Internet services were also not available in Sambhal, Aligarh, Mau, Ghaziabad, Azamgarh and Bareilly districts even as Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, prohibiting assembly of four or more people, was already in force in the entire state for several days.

 

A 25-year-old man was killed as violence erupted here and some other parts of the state, with protesters angry over the amended citizenship law pelting stones at police and torching vehicles.

In Ghaziabad, Jio users received a message that read, 'As per the government instructions, the internet services have been temporarily stopped in your area because of which you are not able to use these services. You will be able to use the internet service once we get directions from the government.'

In Assam, though the Gauhati high court had ordered its restoration by 5 pm on Thursday, the state government had not issued any instruction to the mobile operators to implement the court directive.

"We did not receive any further communication from the government to continue with the ban, so we resumed the service for our customers," a senior official of private operator Airtel told PTI.

Other operators like state-owned BSNL, Reliance Jio and Vodafone too have resumed their services.

Mobile and broadband internet services were suspended on the evening of December 11, following incidents of violence during protests against the amended Citizenship Act.

Broadband services have already resumed in the state from December 17.

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had said on Thursday evening that mobile internet service would resume from Friday.

Earlier during the day, the Gauhati high court had directed the Assam government to restore mobile internet service by 5 pm on Thursday.

A division bench of Justices Manojit Bhuyan and Saumitra Saikia gave the direction after hearing four PILs filed by journalist Ajit Kumar Bhuyan, and advocates Bonoshri Gogoi, Randeep Sharma and Debakanta Doley.

With resumption of mobile internet, hundreds of WhatsApp messages and social media notifications clogged the cell phones of users.

"With messages flooding my phone, it hanged several times. I had to restart it many times," an avid user of social media platforms on mobile phone said.

Assam witnessed one of the worst violent protests in its history with three rail stations, post office, bank, bus terminus, shops, dozens of vehicles and many other public properties being set ablaze or totally damaged.

Already five persons lost their lives in the violence that broke out in the state last week.

After the Rajya Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill last week, the state erupted in uncontrolled protests, in which agitators engaged in pitch battle in almost every major city or town, forcing the administration to impose curfew.

Several towns and cities were placed under indefinite curfew, including Guwahati, the epicentre of protests, besides Dibrugarh, Tezpur and Dhekiajuli.

Night curfew was imposed in Jorhat, Golaghat, Tinsukia and Charaideo districts.

With the situation returning to normalcy, curfew has been lifted from several cities and relaxed in the rest.

Source: PTI© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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