India lost more than A$1.93 billion to internet restrictions in 2019 as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government pushed ahead with his party’s Hindu nationalist agenda, raising tensions and sparking nationwide protests.
The worst shutdown has been in Kashmir, where after intermittent closures in the first half of the year, the internet has been cut off since Aug. 5 following the government’s decision to revoke the special autonomous status of the country’s only Muslim majority state, a study said. The prolonged closure was criticized by India’s highest court, which ruled Friday that the “limitless” internet shutdown enforced by the government for the last five months was illegal and asked that it be reviewed.
Internet to be partially restored in Kashmir but social media ban stays
Internet is to be partially restored in Kashmir after an unprecedented five-month blackout, but only for institutions providing “essential services”, while social media sites will still be banned.