Bangladesh Government asked telecom regulators to shut down high-speed mobile internet services until midnight Sunday, the day of a national parliamentary election. The Bangladeshi Telecommunication Regulatory Commission followed to the orders and reportedly shut down 3G and 4G mobile data to “prevent rumors and propaganda” that could affect voters on election day, reported Reuters.
The latest move of suspending internet services was to help prevent violence and misinformation, which went effective immediately after the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission announced the information on Saturday. “The decision has been taken to prevent rumours and propaganda surrounding the vote,” Zakir Hussain Khan said.
The decade-long Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s administration has been marred by allegations of intimidating and imprisoning activists, critics to help maintain power. According to Aljazeera report, this could be another extension of that strategy, as the ruling party hopes to retain power in these elections as well.
Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, daughter of Bangladesh’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is now longest-serving leader in the nation. Hasina is seeking a third-straight term since winning a landslide in December 2008.
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led the campaign for the deployment of over 600,000 soldiers, border patrol, paramilitary and police officers who have fanned out across the country in advance of the elections, added report.