Haryana Halts Cyber Fields: ‘Delhi Chalo’ Farmers’ Call Leads to Mobile Internet Suspension!

Chandigarh: The Haryana government on Saturday ordered the suspension of mobile internet services and bulk SMS in seven districts ahead of farmers’ proposed ‘Delhi Chalo’ march on February 13.

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According to an official order, mobile internet services will remain suspended in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa districts from 6 am on February 11 to 23:59 pm on February 13.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha have announced the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march by more than 200 farmers’ unions on February 13 to press the Centre for accepting their several demands, including enactment of a law to guarantee a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

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The decision to suspend mobile internet services, bulk SMS and all dongle services was taken as there was an apprehension of disturbance of peace in view of the proposed march.

“…it has been brought to my notice by Addl. Director General of Police, CID, Haryana vide his request dated February 10 that in view of the call for farmers march/agitation given by certain organisations, there is an apprehension of causing tension, annoyance, agitation, damage of public & private property and disturbance of public peace & tranquillity in the districts of Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa,” read the order issued by Haryana additional chief secretary (home department) TVSN Prasad.

“…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, which are being/could be transmitted/circulated to the public through social media/messaging services on mobile internet services, SMS services and other dongle services,” read the order.

The decision was taken to stop the spread of misinformation and rumours through various social media platforms on mobile phones and SMS for facilitation and mobilisation 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, said the order.

The authorities hereby “order the suspension of the mobile internet services(2G/3G/4G/5G/CDMA/GPRS) bulk SMS (excluding banking and mobile recharge) and all dongle services etc. provided on mobile networks except the voice calls in the jurisdiction of districts Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa of Haryana State,” said the order.

All telecom service providers of Haryana are hereby directed to ensure the compliance of this order, it stated.

It is emphasized that this order is being issued after taking utmost care of public convenience by exempting individual SMS, mobile recharge, banking SMS, voice calls, internet services provided by broadband and lease lines of corporate and domestic households, thus not affecting the commercial and financial interest of the State and basic domestic needs of individuals, it said.


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