In Meghalaya, internet facilities on mobile phones have been suspended yet again.
The ban will stay for 48 hours, according to a notification issued by the Meghalaya Home Department on Saturday evening.
Interestingly, though no official communiqué was issued to the media by the government, but a notification signed by Commissioner and Secretary (Home), S Kharlyngdoh has been circulated in social media platforms including whatsapp.
When contacted for confirmation about the notification, Kharlyngdoh, however, did not pick up his mobile phone.
However, East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner confirmed that it was a fact that internet services on mobile phones has been suspended again from Saturday, and the order came from the government through the Home Department.
In the notification, it was stated that the Meghalaya Government had received reports from the Director General of Police noting that a serious law and order situation continues to prevail in Khasi and Jaiñtia Hills and Ri Bhoi district having potential threats to public safety.
The notification also said that messaging systems like whatsapp and social media platforms like facebook, twitter and youtube are likely to be used for transmission of information like pictures, videos and texts that have the potential to inflame passions and thus exacerbate the law and order situation in the entire Khasi Hills, Jaiñtia Hills and Ri Bhoi district.
Thus the government has suspended mobile internet services for 48 hours from Saturday in six districts – East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills, South West Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi, East Jaiñtia Hills and West Jaiñtia Hills.
Meanwhile, the Meghalaya police said that some people with vested interest(s) have posted provocative posts/hate messages/rumours/fake news in social media which have led to incitement of communal feelings/sense of insecurity, in the mind of certain sections of society.
According to a statement issued by SP (City), S A Rynjah, police have appealed to the public to desist from sending such provocative hate posts/rumours/fake news, in social media so that normalcy can be restored in Shillong city at the earliest.
The SP also appealed to the general public to desist from sharing/publicizing such posts without verifying the authenticity of the same, while requesting moderators/administrators of various groups in social media to delete such post(s), if any, posted in their groups.
“The Meghalaya police are taking serious note of such post(s) and will initiate legal/criminal action against perpetrators of such provocative posts,” Rynjah said.