PANIPAT: The Haryana government on Saturday extended the internet shutdown in 17 districts of the state as a preventive measure amid the ongoing farmers protest. The mobile internet services except voice calls in these districts will remain suspended till 5 pm on Sunday, January 31. There are a total of 22 districts in the state.
The districts where the suspension of the mobile internet has been ordered are:
On January 26, the Haryana government led by Manohar Lal Khattar ordered suspension of mobile internet services in Sonipat, Jhajjar and Palwal districts. Days later, on January 29, the state government suspended mobile internet services in 14 more districts of Haryana till 5 pm of Saturday, January 30.
Meanwhile, the opposition Congress hit out at the government’s decision to suspend mobile internet services. In a statement, Congress General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala claimed the internet ban was ordered “with the intention to crush the farmers’ agitation” and demanded its immediate resumption. He said the decision will affect professionals working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, students, traders and shopkeepers and cause inconvenience to the common people.
Thousands of protesting farmers had clashed with the police during the tractor rally in Delhi called by farmer unions on January 26 to highlight their demand for the repeal of the Centre’s three farm laws.
Many of the protesters, driving tractors, reached the Red Fort and entered the monument. Some protesters even hoisted religious flags on its domes and the flagstaff at the ramparts, where the national flag is unfurled by the prime minister on Independence Day.
The Haryana government ordered suspension of telecom services (2G/3G/4G/CDMA/GPRS), all SMS services (excluding banking and mobile recharge) and all dongle services, etc provided on mobile networks except the voice calls in the territorial jurisdiction of districts of the 14 districts and extended suspension in the districts of Sonipat, Palwal and Jhajjar for next 24 hours till 5 pm on January 30, according to the order.
In order to stop the spread of disinformation and rumours and divisive propaganda through various social media platforms, such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, etc on mobile phones and SMS, for facilitation of mobs of agitators and demonstrators who can cause serious loss of life and damage to public and private properties by indulging in arson or vandalism and other types of violent activities.., the order further said.