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India Tops In Global Internet Shutdowns For 6th Year In A Row: Report

According to the report, the impact of the shutdowns was particularly severe for women, making it more difficult to document atrocities, including murder, rape, arson, and other gender-based violence, and hold perpetrators accountable.

PTI
Kashmiri journalists hold placards and protest against Internet shutdown in Kashmir | Photo: PTI
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India witnessed the highest number of internet shutdowns in the world in 2023, with 116 instances, as per the report by the ‘Keep It On coalition’.

This marks the sixth consecutive year that India has held this record, with officials imposing shutdowns citing communal tension, violence, exams, and other reasons, the report says.

The frequent internet shutdowns have drawn condemnation from civil society in India and around the world. In Manipur, where ethnic violence has been ongoing, footage of atrocities committed during the violence went viral several weeks after the incidents occurred.

The report states that 64 shutdowns affected more than one district, with 47 shutdowns in Manipur and a statewide shutdown in Punjab in March. Internet services were suspended in Manipur for 212 days, from May 3 to December 3, with a break of three days, the report adds.

The impact of the shutdowns was particularly severe for women, making it more difficult to document atrocities, including murder, rape, arson, and other gender-based violence, and hold perpetrators accountable.

The report notes that Jammu and Kashmir saw 17 shutdown orders in 2023, down from 49 in 2022. A total of 13 States and Union Territories imposed shutdowns in 2023, with seven of them disrupting internet services five or more times.

India has collectively had more than 500 instances of internet shutdowns. Globally, Myanmar recorded the second-highest number of internet shutdowns with 37 orders, followed by Iran (34), Palestine (16), and Ukraine (8).

Unlike other countries in the report, where the country's own government ordered a shutdown, in Palestine and Ukraine, the shutdown was imposed by "external parties"

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