At least 3,000 people across Uttar Pradesh have been arrested since Thursday evening in connection with protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Around 350 people were arrested in Lucknow. The police have registered 19 FIRs against unknown people and security has been beefed up across the state. According to the police, 3,037 Facebook posts, 1,786 Twitter posts and 38 Youtube videos (scenes of violence) have also been deleted since Thursday.
The move came after Thursday's protests against CAA turned violent in Lucknow and Sambhal. Internet services have been shut down in 15 districts, including the capital, whereas red alerts were issued in Aligarh in view of Friday prayers.
Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Avanish Awasthi said that the shutdown would continue till December 21 midnight. All private telecom operators have also shut services after the government order.
According to a senior police official, it was found late on Thursday night that the violent protests on Thursday were being live-streamed on social media which aggravated the situation.
"Apart from the internet, SMS and messenger services have also been blocked. We are trying to inform our customers about this," said a private telecom manager in Lucknow.
The shutdown is mainly going to impact the news industry, which is largely dependent on the internet for news transmission.
(With agency inputs)