Guj cops authorised to shut telecom services if needed

Gujarat police react to disperse protesters during a demonstration against India's new citizenship law in Ahmedabad (Photo by AFP)

In the wake of violent protests in some parts of Gujarat against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act on Thursday, the state government on Friday authorized the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) (Intelligence) to suspend telecom services if needed.

The temporary authorization has been granted to ADGP Manoj Shashidhar for three days, from December 20 to 22, an order by the Home Department said on Friday.

Protests against the CAA turned violent in Ahmedabad and some other areas on Thursday.

Shashidhar told PTI that the order did not mean that the government was going to ban all telecom services.

The order said it had been issued in view of "current law and order situation in the state" and under the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules of 2017.

The ADGP (Intelligence) can issue a direction to suspend telecom services "in any exigency that may arise due to public emergency or public safety", the order said.

Shashidhar refuted rumors that the BJP government in the state was planning to ban mobile and Internet services.

"This order only authorities me to issue such order if need arises. There is no need at this point to take a decision to ban mobile or Internet. The situation is very much normal," he said. 

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