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Internet on mobile services continues to be suspended

A Correspondent
Shillong, June 10: In the aftermath of violence in parts of Shillong city, suspension of internet on mobile services still continues. The government suspended internet services on mobile phone and SMS services too. However restriction on SMS services was lifted on the evening of June 7.

It has been more than 10 days since internet services on mobile phones were suspended thereby affecting those depending on it for their daily tasks.

The government on its part has assured that Internet will be restored once the situation in the city returns to normal.

It all started on May 31 morning, when there was an altercation between drivers of the Shillong Public Transport Service (SPTS) and residents of Sweepers’ Lane at Them ïew Mawlong.

In the subsequent events, three minor boys were injured by the residents of the colony. However, later in the evening, fake news spread on social media that one of the injured boy died.

A mob soon gathered at Motphran on the evening of May 31 and soon the mob clashed with police personnel which lasted till May 4.

Meanwhile, on June 8, the Meghalaya government also ordered a shutdown of mobile Internet and messaging services in the entire Garo hills.

Official sources said the state government received a police report apprehending the law-and-order situation could become volatile after members of Garo Students’ Union, Federation of Khasi,Jaiñtia and Garo People, A’chik Youth Welfare Organisation and Association for Democracy and Empowerment stormed the office of Garo Hills Autonomous District Council member Sofiur Rehman at Tura in West Garo Hills on Friday  demanding his removal from the post of forest advisory committee chairman.
The pressure groups alleged that Rehman had posted comments on Facebook against the Garo people last year and even tried to foment trouble between Garos and other communities.

However, Rehman has refuted these allegations.

Internet shutdown has affected business with companies outside the state. It has hit job aspirants too as certain applications are done online.

Concerned over the misuse of social media, activist Agnes Kharshiing in a Facebook post said, “Social media can do good for many if used in the right sense but can even cause deaths when in hands of those who want to create havoc…So much of fake news is spread by those who want to bring about tension. .we should think and apply our minds before spreading any fake news as it brings about hatred and enmity .. Let’s use social media in a way that it helps us take the right path, not a path of destruction but a path of love and peace.”

About the author

Ankur Kalita