Mobile internet and messaging services were on Thursday shut in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut, Ghaziabad and Lucknow following the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests. Internet will also be suspended for 24 hours in Ghaziabad, neighbouring region of Delhi, beginning from 10 pm on Thursday while it was shut down in Lucknow for 36 hours from midnight.
The steps were taken after at least one person died after being injured in violence during protests against the amended Citizenship Act in Lucknow. According to reports, the person suffered firearm injury when violence erupted during protests in Husainabad area in the city. He succumbed to his injuries at the trauma centre later. The police have however not confirmed the death.
The deceassed has been identified as 25-year-old Mohammad Wakeel who was among the four people admitted to KGMU Trauma Centre with Gilani (16), Wasim Khan (22) and Ranjeet (47). Gilani and Vakil had suffered firearm injuries. "Mohammad Wakeel died of firearm injury here," King George's Medical University (KGMU) Trauma Centre in-charge Sandeep Tiwari told PTI.
"Two other patients are undergoing treatment in the trauma centre and one of them has firearm injury," he said. It is not yet clear from where the firing took place.
Earlier in the day, the Internet was snapped in parts of Delhi, that was never seen in any of the past protests, including the massive public outcry after the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case in 2012 and anti-corruption movement by Anna Hazare.
Thursday's outage triggered a rage among Netizen with some even comparing the crackdown to the Emergency.
The services that stopped WhatsApp and other popular messaging apps as well as access to internet on mobiles at 9 am in certain parts of Delhi, resumed only after 1 pm.
Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio - the three top mobile service providers - complied with Delhi police order, that asked them to even stop voice calls in the areas hit by protests. However, an official at one of the telcos, said voice calling was largely unaffected and only internet services were affected.
The directive from office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Cell, New Delhi was issued to all telecom service providers, including Airtel, Vodafone Idea, Jio and BSNL/MTNL.