Shutting down Internet has become the go to way for Indian government to solve conflicts. India has become the country implementing the most Internet shutdowns in 2019, shutting down services for more than 100 times, incurring a loss of over $1.3Billion on the economy.
On Sunday, things took a grave turn in Koravagalli village, a communally cantankerous part of Bhainsa division, when a feud between youngsters about removing their bike silencers and creating nuisance escalated into stone pelting and houses being burnt down. Property was severely damaged in the conflict and as much as 11 people got injured.
Police had to take dreary measures to gain control of the situation, having to retort to lathi charge in which four police personnel Nirmal SP C Shashidahr Raju, DSP K Narsing Rao and Circle Inspector Venugopal Rao got injured along with the conflicting parties.
While this was going on, Department of Telecommunications did what they have excelled at in the previous months, shut down Internet services. DoT sent an SOS message to telecom companies like Airtel, Idea, Vodafone and BSNL to shut down Internet services in Nirmal, Adilabad and other areas.
After a while, companies sent out messages to users that read: “Data Alert: Dear Customer as per Government instruction, internet services have been temporarily stopped in your area.”
Voice calls are still in effect in the regions. However, no ETA has been provided for resuming of Internet services.
And just like every other opportunity, political parties jumped to grasp this one with both hands. BJP blamed AIMIM for the whole ordeal to which Asaduddin Owaisi replied by calling it nothing more than ‘targeted violence’ and assuring that responsible parties will be persecuted.
This is not the first time India has faced Internet shutdowns on a spectrum as broad as this in light of untoward circumstances. Internet services have been suspended in various parts of the country leading up to protests against a controversial bill that has been making the rounds. Apart from this, Internet has been shut down in the disputed land of Kashmir for more than 6 months now, with no signs of recovery anytime soon.