At 10.30pm on Dec. 12, Al Jazeera journalist Makepeace Sitlhou said broadband will be cut for another couple of days.

Prime minister Narendra Modi, ironically, took to the internet to reassure the very people who didn’t have access to the internet—a basic human right according to the United Nations.

A regional digital news platform said Assam’s internet shutdown has been extended to 7pm on Dec. 14. Television channel CNN reported that it is for “an indefinite period.”

Internet shutdown central

This shutdown comes as little surprise. After all, India is the internet shutdown capital of the world.

This is the first major internet ban in Assam after three of the state’s districts suffered such a shutdown on May 10 following a communal clash.

On its part, the government says it uses internet blackouts to maintain law and order (even though there is little evidence it works). For instance, ahead of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid verdict, the internet was cut off in several parts of the country.

What’s interesting, though, is that India’s seen far fewer shutdowns this year than last year.

Then again, the Kashmir blackout, which began on Aug. 5, has lasted over four months already. For Kashmiris, life sans the internet is the new normal. Assam is headed there now.

The ripple effect, too, is taking hold. Reports of curbs in other northeastern states like Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh are trickling in. A curfew has been imposed in Meghalaya’s capital, Shillong. Mobile internet and text-messaging have been banned n that state for two days.

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