Government Shut Down Internet in Bengal

Chaos broke out in Howrah District, West Bengal, India, during a protest organized by Muslims over comments by Indian politicians about the Prophet Muhammad, Friday (10/6/2022). (Source: Times of India)

Writer : Rofi Ali Majid | Editor : Edy A. Putra

DELHI, KOMPAS.TV – The Indian government cut internet access in Bengal on Friday (10/6/2022) afternoon following the riots that occurred during a massive Muslim protest over controversial comments insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

As reported The India TimesIndia’s Ministry of Home Affairs said internet access would be shut down until Saturday (11/6) morning at 06.00 local time. The communication channels via SMS and telephone services are reportedly still functioning.

The decision was taken by the government at the request of the police, following violent protests in a number of areas. The government is trying to anticipate the spread of hoax news so as not to trigger a bigger riot.

Howrah district, a part of Bengal, is known to be one of the locations for the demonstration which ended in chaos.

Also Read: Iran to Saudi Arabia Crowds Criticize India for Insulting Statements of the Prophet Muhammad

The wave of protests continues in India after Nupur Sharma, spokesman for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), made remarks deemed insulting to the Prophet Muhammad during a televised debate.

BBC said the topic of debate was around the Varanasi Mosque which had existed since the 17th century. The mosque is thought to have stood on the destruction of Hindu temples by the reigning Mughal emperor Aurangzeb of his time.

Some Hindus then asked the court for permission to pray at the site, but this caused friction between religious believers in India.

In one of his comments, Sharma said the Prophet Muhammad had married Ayesha at the age of six or nine years with a tendency to discredit Muslims.

The comments sparked criticism from Muslim circles, including protests by diplomats from Muslim-majority countries.