The Bangladesh government has ordered telecom operators to disable their networks within 1 km range along the border with India citing security reasons, in the backdrop countrywide protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
The mobile network coverage will remain suspended until further notice "for the sake of the country's security in the current circumstances", officials said in the statement released on Monday.
One official on condition of anonymity said the decision was taken out of concern that Indian Muslims might seek to enter Bangladesh after the introduction of CAA.
Critics have said the law is anti-Muslim and against the secular value of the Indian constitution.
"We have ordered the (mobile network) shutdown in light of a government directive," Dhaka Tribune quoted the Senior Assistant Director of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) as saying.
The decision is expected to affect around 10 million mobile phone subscribers in 32 districts that share the border with India and Myanmar.
"This decision will certainly have an impact since a large segment of citizens in the border areas will be out of the range of the internet, voice and other services," said Brig Gen (retd) S M Farhad, secretary-general at the Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh.
(With agency inputs.)