Haryana Extends Mobile Internet Suspension Amid Ongoing Farmers Protest

The Haryana government extends the suspension of mobile internet in seven districts to curb unrest during the ongoing farmers' protest. Read more about the decision and the latest developments.

Haryana Extends Mobile Internet Suspension Amid Ongoing Farmers Protest
Haryana Extends Mobile Internet Suspension Amid Ongoing Farmers Protest

National Desk, Feb 21: In a bid to maintain peace amidst the continuing farmers’ protest, the Haryana government has decided to extend the ban on mobile internet and bulk SMS services in seven districts until February 21st.

The affected districts, including Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad, and Sirsa, have witnessed heightened tensions. This extension follows previous suspensions on February 13, 15, 17, and 19.

Additional Chief Secretary of Haryana, T V S N Prasad, stated, “After assessing 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.”

The decision to extend the ban stems from the potential for disruption of public utilities, damage to public assets, and disturbance of public law and order due to the misuse of internet services for spreading inflammatory material and false rumors.

According to the order issued under Section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, and Rule 2 of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules 2017, all dongle services provided on mobile networks, except voice calls, will remain suspended in the specified districts until February 21.

The objective behind the extension is to prevent any disturbance to peace and public order. Protesting farmers have been stationed at Shambhu and Khanauri points on Punjab’s border with Haryana, following clashes during their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march.

Despite the government’s proposal to procure pulses, maize, and cotton at MSP for five years, farmer leaders have rejected it, citing that it does not address their core demands.

The farmers’ demands include a legal guarantee of MSP, implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, pension for farmers and farm laborers, farm debt waiver, no hike in electricity tariff, withdrawal of police cases, justice for the victims of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, and compensation to the families of farmers who died during previous agitations in 2020–21.

As the fourth round of talks failed to yield a resolution, farmer leaders have announced plans to march towards the national capital on Wednesday, indicating a prolonged standoff between the government and the protesting farmers.