Bangladesh government today unblocked all social media platforms including Skype, Twitter, WhatsApp and Viber. Mobile phone operators and Internet service providers in the country resumed the services after getting a letter from the telecom regulator. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood told journalists that they have taken the move following instructions from the government authorities.

It may be recalled that in 2008, the military-backed caretaker government  shut down mobile phone services during curfews but Internet access was left untouched. The reason for the more recent shutdowns had to do with the rejection of clemency appeals for former government leaders for war crimes dating back to its 1971 independence war.

The government closed down the Internet  in the wake of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s hint at clamping restrictions on the Internet. Police had said they were having trouble tracking down saboteurs as they were communicating via the social media apps. Many small business suffered losses owing to difficulties in communication and the shut down was not a popular move.

Additional reporting by Tony Henderson