Mobile services — including calls, SMSes and internet — have been suspended in parts of Delhi as protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act swept country. An order issued by the Delhi Police asked all telecom operators — Airtel, Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio, MTNL/BSNL — to stop communication services in certain areas of Delhi.
As per the order, services were suspended for locations including walled city areas of north and central districts, Mandi House, Seelampur, Jaffarbad, Mustafabad, Jamia Nagar, Shaheen Bagh and Bawana.
“In view of the prevailing law and order situation, it is hereby directed that communication of all types i.e. voice, SMS and internet, be halted from 0900 hours to 1300 hours in Cell IDs/BTS (base transceiver stations) covering the following areas for 19-12-2019,” said the order issued by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Cell, New Delhi.
Protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, which was recently enacted into law, have been taking place at several cities across the country since Thursday morning and police forces have resorted to detentions and restricting gathering of people.
In Delhi, the police placed restrictions on entry of people into the capital, imposed Section 144 in several places and detained scores of protesters. And, mobile internet and connectivity too have been suspended in parts of Delhi.
Telecom operator Airtel, responding to complaints about poor connectivity on Twitter, told customers, “Hi! We’re complying with instructions received from govt. authorities on suspending Voice, SMS and data in certain areas in Delhi. Once the suspension orders are lifted, our services will be fully up and running.”
Vodafone responded similarly to one of its customers. “Hi! We would like to inform you that there is a planned outage scheduled as per government directive. This will rectified as soon we receive the next directive from the authority,” Vodafone said in a tweet.