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regular-article-logo Sunday, 14 April 2024

Bihar government suspends Internet service in Darbhanga for 72 hours after violence

Ban started at 4pm on Thursday and will continue till 4pm on Sunday

Dev Raj Patna Published 28.07.23, 05:13 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File photo

Internet services were stopped in Darbhanga on Thursday for 72 hours following violence and continuing tension between two communities over the past few days and as a precautionary measure for Muharram, which will be observed on July 28 and 29.

The ban started at 4pm on Thursday and will continue till 4pm on Sunday. The district administration took the decision, saying that it was necessary to stop rumour-mongering on various social media platforms, YouTube channels and instant messaging services.

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“A few incidents took place recently in which some self-proclaimed journalists were behaving irresponsibly to spread baseless, unconfirmed news. They were spreading hatred in the society,” Darbhanga district magistrate Rajiv Raushan told The Telegraph.

“We detected a few of such journalists and sent notices to them. However, they are so many and new ones keep springing up so frequently that we decided to ban Internet services as a preventive measure,” Raushan added.

The district administration took the decision to stop the Internet services under section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885.

Darbhanga district has witnessed clashes in the Shivdhara locality of Darbhanga city which serves as district headquarters, and in Kamtaul area. A few people were injured in them.

“We took the decision due to various incidents of violence. Rumours are being spread through Internet-based applications and services. Various social media platforms, mushrooming YouTube channels and so-called news portals are spreading baseless things,” Darbhanga senior superintendent of police (SSP) Awakash Kumar told this newspaper.

Kumar pointed out that Muharram rituals are going on and its main days are on July 28 and 29 and the stopping of Internet for the public will cut down on the spread of inciting messages and allow it to pass off peacefully.

“Altogether 14 people out of 17 named accused have been arrested in the Bazar Samiti incident, while nine of the 35 named accused in the Kamtaul incident have been arrested so far. The situation is under control now,” the SSP said.

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