Mobile operators have been instructed to shut down wireless internet services in parts of the national capital to help the government control protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill and National Registry of Citizens.
There are also reports that the mobile voice network is also down in several parts of the city.
This is perhaps the first time that mobile internet has been shut down in a city like Delhi.
There is no information about how long Internet will be shut down for, but services are likely to be turned back on when protesters disassemble from the sites. Protest locations like ITO (Income Tax Office) are affected.
Besides Internet, the government has also shut down metro rail services to protest locations.
Six metro stations will see no service today, including Patel Chowk, Lok Kalyan Marg, Udyog Bhawan, ITO, Pragati Maidan and Khan Market.
Many cities in India are seeing protests against Citizenship Amendment Act and NRC.
Karnataka government has also imposed section 144 in the city in an effort to prevent people from protesting. People arriving in these protest spots are being detained by the police.
However, the moves have so far produced little results in most places, with protests being reported from Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.
Protesters are demanding the rollback of a controversial amendment to the Citizenship Act, which says that undocumented persons found in India will be dealt with according to their religion.
Undocumented persons who believe in certain religion and philosophies — Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity and Sikhism — will be allowed to stay on in India if they give an undertaking that they have come from one of India’s neighboring Muslim-majority states like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Otherwise, they will be put in a detention center. Undocumented residents who do not belong to the above religions will also be put in detention camps.
Protesters fear that the move could result in millions of Indians being put in detention camps.
The protests have seen participation from dozens of democracy activists, Muslim organizations, Leftist organizations and from citizens and students concerned that the move is against India’s secular fundamentals.
Yogendra Yadav, head of Swaraj India political party, and historian nd writer Ramachandra Guha are among those detained by the police so far.
The amendment has also led to widespread protests in India’s North East, home to millions of undocumented refugees and illegal economic migrants from Bangladesh. Protesters in these states do not want illegal immigrants to be allowed to become citizens as they believe that giving them full rights will result in the destruction of their culture.