The recent developments have seen the imposition of Section 144 in Srinagar as well as the suspension of mobile internet services in Kashmir, as well as mobile services, wireline or landline services as well as wired broadband internet services.
Internet shutdowns are not new to Kashmir. This is the 51st time in 2019 that access to internet, declared a basic human right by the United Nations, has been suspended here, according to tracker internetshutdown.in. In fact, Kashmir accounts for more than 70 percent of all government-imposed blackouts in the country.
Last year, there were 65 internet shutdowns in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Before that, the year 2017 recorded 32 shutdowns, 2016 had 10 shutdowns, 2015 recorded 5 shutdowns and the year 2014 also clocked 5 shutdowns of mobile internet services.
“As the narrative against Internet shutdowns gains momentum on a global level, India stands out as a shining example for all the wrong reasons. With at least 172 shutdowns recorded between January 2012 and April 2018, India has the distinction of being home to the highest number of shutdowns recorded anywhere in the world, that too by a wide margin.”
According to data by the Software Freedom Law Centre, India (Sflc.in) as part of the latest Internet Shutdowns Report.
A resolution was passed by the United Nations Human Rights Council on 1st July 2016, condemning network disruptions and measures resorted by states to curb online access and/or dissemination of information. The resolution further affirmed that rights in the online sphere, especially the right to freedom of expression requires the same standard of protection as in the offline world. It recognized the role of Internet in promoting affordable educational opportunities
Longest Shutdown in India
Longest Internet Shutdown was observed in Kashmir located in state of Jammu and Kashmir in 2016 due to the agitation caused by the killing of popular militant Burhan Wani on 8th July 2016. Mobile Internet Services were suspended for 133 days. While mobile Internet services on postpaid numbers was restored on November 19, 2016. Mobile Internet services for prepaid users were resumed in January 2017, this implies they faced almost a six month Internet shutdown .