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'Inflammatory material, false rumours': Haryana extends internet suspension for seventh time amid farmers' protest

The Haryana government has further extended the suspension of mobile internet and bulk SMS services in seven districts by a day till Saturday in the wake of the ongoing farmers' 'Delhi Chalo' agitation, according to an official order.
Last Updated 24 February 2024, 08:38 IST

Chandigarh: The Haryana government has further extended the suspension of mobile internet and bulk SMS services in seven districts by a day till Saturday in the wake of the ongoing farmers' 'Delhi Chalo' agitation, according to an official order.

Mobile internet and bulk SMS services were first suspended in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa on February 11 and the suspension was extended on February 13, 15, 17, 19, 20 and 21.

In the order issued on Friday, Additional Chief Secretary T V S N Prasad said, "After assessment of the current prevailing law and order situation in the state, the conditions are still critical and tense in the district 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 these districts on account of misuse of internet services by way of spread of inflammatory material and false rumours," he said.

The order was 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.

The suspension of 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 districts of Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa has been extended till February 24 (2359 hours), the order stated.

Prasad said the order is extended to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order in jurisdictions of Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa, including Dabwali, districts in Haryana.

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

Protesting farmers from Punjab taking part in the march have been camping at Shambhu and Khanauli border points of the state's border with Haryana since February 13, when their march was stopped by security personnel.

The farmers will continue to stay put at the two border points till February 29, when the next course of action will be decided, farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher said on Friday.

Farmer leaders had on Wednesday put the 'Delhi Chalo' march on hold for two days after a protester was killed and about 12 police personnel were injured in clashes at Khanauri.

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(Published 24 February 2024, 08:38 IST)

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