Following clashes between KSU activists and non-tribals at Shella in East Khasi Hills leading to the death of a KSU member, the Meghalaya government on Friday suspended mobile internet and data services in six districts.
The suspension will remain effective for 48 hours with effect from 10 pm on February 28 in six districts of Meghalaya including East Jaintia Hills, West Jaintia Hills, East Khasi Hills, Ri-Boi, West Khasi Hills and South West Khasi Hills.
The decision has been taken to prevent misuse of the messaging system like SMS, WhatsApp and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The government has suspended the mobile internet and data service to prevent the messaging system and social media platforms which are “likely to be used for transmission of information through pictures, videos and text and have the potential to cause serious breakdown of law & order”.
The notification, issued on Friday night by the home department, said: SMS of all mobile service providers will be limited to 5 (five) SMSs per day”.
The home department of Meghalaya in a notification said as per reports from the Meghalaya Police headquarters, “law and order situation has arisen in East Khasi Hills district”.
It said the state police headquarters also reported “incidents of vandalism and arson which have a potential to disturb public peace and tranquility and cause a threat to public safety.”
The notification has been promulgated under the “provision of section 5(ii) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, read with the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Pubic Safety) Rules, 2017”.
Secretary to the Meghalaya government, home (police), CV Diengdoh, in the notification said: “Violation of this promulgation will be punishable under section 188 IPC and also under the relevant provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885”.