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Business News/ News / India/  Farmers' protest: Haryana extends suspension of mobile internet in 7 districts till February 21
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Farmers' protest: Haryana extends suspension of mobile internet in 7 districts till February 21

The Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana on Tuesday extended the temporary ban on mobile internet and bulk SMS services in seven districts of the state till Wednesday i.e. February 21 in the wake of farmers' 'Delhi Chalo' agitation

The move aims to stop the spread of misinformation through various social media platforms, and to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order, the government said (Photo: PTI)Premium
The move aims to stop the spread of misinformation through various social media platforms, and to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order, the government said (Photo: PTI)

The Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana on Tuesday extended the temporary ban on mobile internet and bulk SMS services in seven districts of the state till Wednesday i.e. February 21 in the wake of farmers' 'Delhi Chalo' agitation.

The move aims to stop the spread of misinformation through various social media platforms, and to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order, the government said. 

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The state government in its order stated that the conditions are still critical and tense in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad, and Sirsa districts and that there is a clear potential for disruption of public utilities, damage to public assets and disturbance of law and order in these districts.

In the order, Additional Chief Secretary of Haryana TVSN Prasad said, "After assessment of the prevailing law and order situation in the state, conditions are still critical and tense in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa districts."

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"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 said.

The state government had earlier extended the suspension of mobile internet on February 13, 15, 17 and 19.

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.

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According to the order, the suspension of mobile internet services, bulk SMS (excluding banking and mobile recharge) and all dongle services provided on mobile networks except voice calls in the jurisdiction of the seven districts has been extended till February 21.

Separately, the Centre has ordered the temporary blocking of around 177 social media accounts and web links linked to farmers' protests, news agency PTI reported citing sources.

The orders were issued by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on February 14 and 19 at the request of the Ministry of Home Affairs under section 69A of the IT Act.

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"The orders have been issued to temporarily block 177 social media accounts and web links to maintain law and order on request of the Ministry of Home Affairs," the report said.

Links and accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and some other social media platforms have been ordered to be blocked. These accounts can be restored after the farmers' agitation is over, the source added. 

Protesting farmers have been staying put at Shambhu and Khanauri points on Punjab's border with Haryana after their 'Delhi Chalo' march to press the Centre for various demands, including a legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP) for crops, was stopped by security forces which led to clashes last week.

Farmer leaders taking part in agitation on Monday rejected the Centre's proposal of procuring pulses, maize and cotton at MSP by government agencies for five years, saying it was not in farmers' interest and announced that they will march towards the national capital on Wednesday.

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Published: 20 Feb 2024, 11:27 PM IST
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