According to a report released by digital rights advocacy group, Access Now, India has once again topped the list for imposing the highest number of internet shutdowns in the world, for the fifth year in a row.
Out of the 187 internet shutdowns that were recorded globally, 84 took place in India, with 49 occurring in Indian-administered Kashmir. This shows that India accounted for 45% of global internet shutdowns in 2022.
Meanwhile, Ukraine was second on the list, with the Russian military cutting access to the internet at least 22 times after invading Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
Iran followed closely with 18 internet shutdowns imposed in 2022 in response to anti-government protests that erupted after the death of Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini in police custody.
The report stated that "authorities disrupted Internet access at least 49 times in Kashmir due to political instability and violence, including a string of 16 back-to-back orders for three-day-long curfew-style shutdowns in January and February 2022."
Kashmir has been a long-standing conflict between India and Pakistan, with the region being claimed by both countries.
The Indian government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, regularly imposes communications restrictions in the region on security grounds. Critics claim that these measures are designed to quash dissent. Militants have been battling India's rule in Kashmir for more than three decades, with the South Asian country blaming Pakistan for stoking the revolt.