Governments sometimes take controversial steps to censor content available on the internet, usually in order to control and monitor the media that their people consume. Now, the government in Bangladesh has reportedly blocked mobile internet in the country in an effort to curb violent protests that are being carried out in the region.
Protests began last week when a speeding bus killed two students in the country's capital city, Dhaka. In order to prevent tragic incidents like these happening in the future, students took to the streets to campaign for road safety. While the government initially stated that it would take steps to bring "discipline" to the transport sector in Bangladesh, it has apparently decided to block mobile internet in the region as well.
The Express Tribune notes that this drastic step was carried out after a protest in Dhaka’s Jigatala area turned violent, injuring over 100, with reports claiming that the police had fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protestors, and that pro-government civilians had physically attacked students. According to reports from local media channels, 3G and 4G services have been slowed down and suspended in some parts of the region for the past 24 hours to make it difficult for students to organize protests.
It is unclear how long the government plans to block access to mobile internet as it may be an inconvenience for others not participating in the protests too. Seeing that general elections in Bangladesh are slated to begin later this year, government ministers are trying to convince students to return to their classes before protests take an even uglier turn, and blocking mobile internet seems to be one of its strategies to curb this outrage.
Source: The Express Tribune