Day 1 of 36 Hours Capital Bandh: Around 57 Reported Arrests
By Asin Charu
ITANAGAR: Since 9:00 p.m. last night, the Capital Police and the District Magistrate have been under close scrutiny, and surveillance has extended upto Banderdewa Checkgate. Besides, around 57 supposed bandh activists have been arrested so far.
1st Day of the 36-hours bandh call disrupts normal lives across ICR region. While briefing the media DC, ICR Talo Potom informed, around 57 supposed bandh callers were arrested by the police in the morning shift—50 from Itanagar, 7 from Naharlagun, and there are hopes to arrest more by nightfall. Thorough investigation and examination will be carried out to determine the identities of the detainees. Those found guilty, will accordingly be referred either to the District Jail or the Judicial Custody and restriction period for the same may extend from 6 months to 1 year.
The DC also informed that stores and vendors may be allowed to open any given time with security provided. Therefore, those willing to, may run their businesses.
DC Talo Potom on Shut Down of Internet Services
The district magistrate passed an order dated 12, January 2022 declaring shut down of internet services from 5pm of 12th January, 2022 to 5pm of 14th January, 2022, which may contradict the curtailment of Fundamental right under article 19 of the Indian Constitution, thereby disruption of dissemination of information by media.
Law pertaining to internet shutdowns in India dictates that, the competent authority that can issue such orders are the Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs (Central Government), the Secretary of the Home Department to the concerned State Government (State Government).
According to these guidelines, no order to suspend telecom services can be issued without the authorization of the aforementioned authorities. Rule 2(1) states that the order to suspend telecom services must be issued exclusively in accordance with these rules and procedures.
This clarifies that no order suspending telecom services may be issued under any provision of the law, including Section 144 of the CrPC 1973.
However, in unavoidable circumstances, an officer with the rank of Joint Secretary or above who has been legally authorized by the Union Home Secretary or State Home Secretary may issue such an order.
Even so, there is no prescribed technique for determining a condition as “inevitable” under the Telegraph Rules, Telegraph Act, or any other laws or court of law rulings.
ICR DC Talo Potom, however exemplifies past incidents to justify the decision of District Magistrate on shut down of internet services: “Extending back to the PRC issue, to the sequential happenings till date, denizens have lost their lives under the tag of ‘riots’ and ‘bandhs’, of which the magistrate has kept detailed analysis and records. The cardinal role, social media has played on such adversities is undeniable and its perimeters cannot be taken lightly. Social media platforms like WhatsApp, lies vulnerable to the act of spreading false propaganda and misinformation which have in the past ignited numerous casualties and property damages.”
“The decision is purely in the best interest of the public and a step towards eradicating bandh culture from the state,” he added, appealing the general public to stay consistent in their cooperation.
Meantime, as most people gear up to battle internet inactivity till 5:00 pm of 14th January 2022, all Wi-fi services remain shut by respective Internet Service Providers (ISP) except Reliance Jio Fibre connection