Government of West Bengal has decided to shut down all mobile and internet services to control unlawful activities in the state. According to government officials internet services will be suspended in few areas of Murshidabad, Uttar Dinajpur, Malda, Jalpaiguri, Coocjbehar, Darjeeling and Birbhum districts. The services will be shut for more than 3 hours from 11 AM to 3:15 PM from March 7-9, March 11-12 and March 14-16.
West Bengal Additional Chief Secretary said, “Intelligence reports have received that internet transmissions and voice over Internet telephony might get used for unlawful activities in the said area.” But there will be no restrictions on SMS and voice calls.
The order said, “In order to prevent obstruction, annoyance or injury to any person lawfully employed, or danger to human life, health or safety, or a disturbance of the public tranquillity, or a riot or an affray, through an order under Sec. 144 Cr.P.C. and in compliance of sub-rule 2(1) of Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Service) Rules, 2017 and sub-rule 2(A) of Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Amendment) Rules, 2020 it is promulgated that: Any data related message or class of messages to or from any person or class of persons relating to any particular subject brought for transmission by or transmitted or received by any telegraph within the ambit of the India Telegraph Act, 1885, shall temporarily not be transmitted in the interest of maintaining public order and preventing incitement to the commission of any offence within the jurisdiction of the Block/Police Stations listed in the Annexure and duly authenticated by me.”
The West Bengal State Board will be conducting board exams on the above given dates. The mobile services and internet shutdown is a preventative measure to avoid cheatings during the exams by children and their associates.