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TNW: India just turned off mobile internet for 63 million citizens amid protests in Ahmedabad

Posted by Soledad Vega on Thu, 08/27/2015 - 12:06

And on Internet censorship news...

Article by ABHIMANYU GHOSHAL for TNW

Mobile internet services have been blocked in the Indian state of Gujarat(home to nearly 63 million people), following violent protests led by the Patel community after one of its leaders was detained by local police in Ahmedabad.

22-year-old politician Hardik Patel, the convener of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, led a rally to demand Other Backward Class (OBC) status for members of the Patidar community, in order to level the playing field in the competition for enrollment at universities and jobs in government organizations.

After he was detained on Tuesday, Patel sent out messages via WhatsApp urging citizens to maintain peace:

I make an appeal to maintain peace and keep calm. I give a call for Gujarat bandh tomorrow (Wednesday). This decision has been taken by Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti considering widespread violence in the state.

Patel’s supporters have been using WhatsApp extensively to broadcast videos and make media announcements.

According to NDTV, a police officer said, “Last night, there were concerns of rumour-mongering and crowd mobilization through WhatsApp.”

- Read more at TNW