Farmers' protest: Haryana extends suspension of mobile internet services in 7 districts till Feb 17

Members of the farm union Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) block railway tracks and shout slogans during a protest to demand minimum crop prices at a railway station in Rajpura on February 15, 2024. Photo: PTI.

Chandigarh: The Haryana government on Thursday extended the ban on mobile internet and bulk SMS services in seven districts by two days till February 17 given the farmers' 'Delhi Chalo' agitation. These districts are Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa, the government said in an order.

On February 13, the state government extended the suspension of these services for two days. On Tuesday, farmers from Punjab faced tear gas shells at two border points as protesters tried to break past barricades set up by the Haryana Police to stop them from heading to the national capital.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha are spearheading the 'Delhi Chalo' agitation to put pressure on the Centre over their demands, including a law on minimum support price for crops and loan waivers.

In the order, additional chief secretary of Haryana T V S N Prasad said, "After assessment of the current prevailing law & order situation in the state, the conditions are still critical and tense in the districts of Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa." 

"There is a clear potential of disruption of public utilities, damage to public assets and amenities and disturbance of public law and order in above mentioned districts on account of misuse of internet services by way of spread of inflammatory material and false rumours," Prasad added.

The order has been issued under Section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and Rule 2 of Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules 2017.

According to the order, the suspension of the mobile internet services, bulk SMS (excluding banking and mobile recharge) and all dongle services, etc. provided on mobile networks except voice calls in the jurisdiction of Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa districts has been extended till February 17. 

The order is extended to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order in these districts. All telecom service providers in Haryana have been directed to ensure compliance with the order. 

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