With ongoing protests in Thoothukudi, telecommunication companies have received orders from the Chief Secretary to halt data services in the Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts in Tamil Nadu.
The protests started months ago in an attempt to have Sterlite Industries’ copper plant shut down due to pollution and health concerns.
Most recently, tensions have escalated as 13 people were killed and many others injured after Tamil Nadu police opened fire at protestors.
In the directive from the Director General of Police of Tamil Nadu to stop data services, the use of social media to amass the thousands of protestors was noted. In addition, the directive stated that some were trying to exploit the situation by spreading inaccurate and provocative information on social media.
The directive has been justified under Rule 2(1) of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017.
Data services have been barred until May 27th.