Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday launched the much-awaited free Wi-Fi hotspot scheme, while a part of the city faced a government-directed Internet shutdown over Citizen (Amendment) Act or CAA protests. While Kejriwal launched the scheme at the ITO bus stand, his deputy Manish Sisodia launched the scheme at the Vishwavidyalaya Metro station.
On Thursday, the anti-CAA protests gained momentum, following which the Delhi Police wrote to mobile phone operators including Airtel, Jio, MTNL, BSNL, and Vodafone Idea to stop all communication services – voice, SMS, and mobile data – in many parts of the national capital.
The areas where the cellular and Internet services have been shut include north and central Delhi. Mandi House, Jamia Nagar, Shaheen Bagh, Seelampur, Jafrabad, and Bawana are other areas where mobile services have been curtailed.
Speaking to the media, Kejriwal said: “it is an irony that the day we started the free Internet scheme, the Internet services are being shut in the city […] We hope that the situation will be soon brought under control.”
Kejriwal also said the people in the country were “scared” as 70 percent of them have no documents to prove their citizenship. There was no need for the amended citizenship law and the government needs to focus on providing jobs to the youth, he added.
Over 100 hotspots were given to the national capital, as part of Kejriwal’s poll promise of providing free Internet in the city. He said in the next six months, the city will get 11,000 hotspots. “This is phase one. In phase two, we will give hotspots to the entire city,” he said.