Since Tuesday night (25 August), the Gujarat government has turned off mobile Internet access to some 6.3 million Ahmedabad residents after the Patel community agitation over OBC quota turned violent across the state. It has now emerged that ban on Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter will continue till 28 August.
Police said that they turned off Internet in Ahmedabad to stop "rumours from spreading" especially through Whatsapp.
It should be noted Hardik Patel, convener of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti had appealed to the community calling for a bandh in city on 25 August, hours before Gujarat descended into chaos.
Ahmedabad, which is the sixth largest city in Gujarat and seventh largest metropolitan area of India has a population of 6.3 million people. Several social media users have claimed that since Tuesday night,
According to a Times of India report published on 27 August, the Ahmedabad police has decided to extend " the discontinuation of mobile Internet services for two more days."
The members of Patel community, also known as the Patidars clashed with the police in Ahmedabad, Surat, Mehsana and other parts of Gujarat after the Patidar leader, Hardik Patel was arrested on Tuesday evening.
In the ensuing violence as per the latest reports, as many as nine people have died, while 100 were left injured. Around 18 people are said to be in a critical condition, reports cited officials as saying on Thursday.
Five people were killed in Ahmedabad, police officials told AFP on Wednesday. Three people were killed in police firing in the districts of Banaskantha and Mehsana. A policeman was killed in Surat after the angry mob beat him up.
Army and paramilitary forces currently has been deployed in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Hardik Patel, the 22-year old leader of Patidar movement has now demanded action against policemen attacking the peaceful protesters.
"We were treated like terrorists, and violence broke out only after police mercilessly beat up the protesters," said Patel in an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN. He now has demanded an ex gratia of Rs 35 lakh for family of all those killed in the Gujarat violence.
They used WhatsApp over Twitter for this protest?
Vishnu G @TheOnlyVishnu
#Whatsapp and #mobile internet #blocked in Ahmedabad following detention of local leader Hardik Patel.
Beyond Utility @utilly
It looks like WhatsApp is now taking its place in the social media activists toolkit.
Lakshmi A @LakshmiAjay1
Internet, Whatsapp, sms services still suspended in areas like Naranpura in #Ahmedabad which saw sporadic acts of violence since Tuesday
At least, FB & Whatsapp wr accessible y'day. Even those are blocked now. Anyone else in Ahmedabad facing the same issue? Or it's jst me?
Paresh Godhwani @Paranormal_PG
WhatsApp, twitter & facebook blocked here in #Ahmedabad. I mean what would a person do then in Gujarat band. Remove this block.
Parth Shah @parth2eetstech
So today I woke up and was surprised to see no whatsapp msgs and then I realised it's Internet ban in #Gujarat4Peace #Ahmedabad Whatsapp Ban
Owais Shah @owaistshah
To those who don't know : BSNL has blocked Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp on their broadband services in #Ahmedabad.
Use VPN. #Gujarat