Delhi government has suspended the internet, voice calling, and SMS services suspended in parts of the country’s capital. As per Delhi police department’s orders, these services were shut down in areas including Mandi House, Bawana, Jamia Nagar, Shaheen Bagh, Seelampur, Jaffarbad, Mustafabad, and walled city areas of North and Central districts. Telecom operators including Airtel and Vodafone had confirmed the same on their social networking channels. The internet, calling, and SMS services in the city have been suspended amid protests against the Citizenship Act. The move by the government is to maintain law and order in the national capital.
On December 18th, Delhi Police special cell had directed that voice, SMS, and internet services should be halted from 9 am to 1 pm today. These services are now up and running in some parts of the affected areas. The notice by the police said, “this order should be treated as an absolute direction and compliance should be reported”. We expect the communication services will be up and running again in all of the affected areas by the end of the day.
After the announcement, hundreds of users took on Twitter and complained about slow or no internet, calling, and SMS services in Delhi since morning. As the move was flagged on social media, many mobile service users compared the situation to the severe restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir since the special status was scrapped in August. The latest internet shutdown came days after the same was suspended in Aligarh, Meerut, Assam, and parts of West Bengal.
Ironically, the mobile services have been suspended in Delhi on the same day of the inaugural of a free Wi-Fi scheme by the capital’s government. As part of the scheme, the government will provide Wi-Fi services across the whole city by utilising as many as 11,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots.