The telecommunications shutdown in Jammu and Kashmir, which was imposed on August 4, a day prior to the dilution of Article 370, is the fourth-longest in the country in the last four years.
Not only has the region recorded the highest number of shutdowns in the country, it has also seen the longest one in this period.
A total of 183 instances of shutdowns have been recorded in Jammu and Kashmir since 2016, the highest in the country. Rajasthan is a distant second with 43 shutdowns. As of August, 67 shutdowns had been imposed in Jammu and Kashmir in 2019.
In most instances, the official reason cited for shutdowns was “public safety or precautionary measure.” “National security” was cited 26 times (fifth among the set). The reasons behind 108 shutdowns between 2016 and August 2019 were unknown.
The longest recorded shutdown in J&K was for 6 months between July 2016 and January 2017 following agitations after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan
Wani’s killing. Postpaid services were restored in November 2016, but prepaid services were curtailed till January 2017.
Globally, India has recorded the highest number of shutdowns. Between January 2016 and June 2018, 160 shutdowns were recorded. After India, Ethiopia saw the longest recorded shutdown in this period for 110 days between December 2017 and April 2018.