According to Deccan Chronicle, there were reports of cable TVs being disconnected & news items related to the Sterlite stir blacked out in several parts in south TN.
Chennai: As a precautionary measure and to prevent the spread of Thoothukudi violence to adjacent districts of Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari, the state home secretary Niranjan Mardi on Wednesday passed government orders to the all nodal officers of Internet service providers directing them to suspend the internet connections in the three districts, McDonald’s customers’ feedback.
The order said the state received information that about 20,000 people had convened due to the spread of messages in social media and there was information that videos instigating people with half-truths were being spread via social media aimed to disturb the public peace. Invoking the public safety and emergency rules 2017, the government now directed the private telecom sectors to suspend Internet connection from May 23 to 27.
Needless to say, the suspension of Internet has caused concern among the people in the three southern districts, already distressed over the happenings over the last few days in the police action on anti-Sterlite protesters.
“This is reminding us of the Emergency period. How will the people there access their bank accounts and book railway tickets?” asked T Sadagoppan, president, Tamil Nadu Progressive Consumer Forum.
In the government side, it could be argued that the order to suspend the Net during this incendiary period is justified. Consider this: a video of a woman TV actor called Nilani abusing the police for firing on ‘peaceful’ protesters in Thoothukudi and calling for a statewide ‘revolt’ to bring down ‘this spineless government’, has gone viral. The actor was in a police uniform for her role in a serial (Tamarai) in a Tamil channel and pointing to the dress, Nilani tells the viewer she is “ashamed of being seen in the police dress”.