Hyderabad: Free Software Movement of India, sflc.in, and the Internet Freedom Foundation has condemned the internet shut down in Delhi on Republic Day amid the tractor rally taken out by protesting farmers in the capital.
The organisations, which advocate for digital and internet rights, in a joint statement said that the day on which the Constitution was enacted in the country has also become the day when the fundamental rights to speech and life were suppressed in broad daylight.
"We strongly condemn this arbitrary internet shutdown that harms the fundamental right to free speech and the right to live. We demand that the government restore the internet immediately," read the statement.
They added that in the last five years, there have been more than 400 instances of internet shutdown across the country, a number which is the largest in the world.
"Shutting down critical communications infrastructure is a blatant violation of our rights. It should be noted that all these acts are unilateral decisions with no accountability," they said in the statement.
The Ministry of Home Affairs ordered temporary suspension of internet services in parts of Delhi after clashes between the farmers and the police were reported in several areas. The Internet has been suspended in Delhi's Singhu, Ghazipur, Tikri, Mukarba Chowk, Nangloi and other areas.
As per the Department of Telecom, internet services will be shut from 12 pm to 11.59 pm on Tuesday.
"As per the government's instructions, Internet services have been temporarily stopped in your area because of which you are not able to use these services. You will be able to use the internet services once we get directions from the government," an SMS sent by a telecom operator read.