The state government on Friday determined to discontinue mobile internet services in 14 more districts of Haryana till 5 pm of January 30 “to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order” in the watch of the farmers’ agitation against the three agriculture laws. The mobile internet services excluding voice calls will persist halted with quick effect until 5 pm on Saturday in districts of Ambala, Yamunanagar, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Kaithal, Panipat, Hisar, Jind, Rohtak, Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri, Fatehabad, Rewari, and Sirsa districts, a mandate published by the Home Department said.
On Tuesday, the government had directed the postponement of mobile internet services in Sonipat, Jhajjar, and Palwal districts “to prevent disturbance of peace and public order” after a violent farmers’ protest shook bordering Delhi. The settings will continue suspended in these three districts too until 5 pm on Saturday, as per the order. Thousands of opposing farmers had battled with the police while the tractor rally in Delhi summoned by farmer unions on January 26 to highlight their demand for the withdrawal of the Centre’s three farm laws.
The Haryana government directed the halt 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 call 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, as per the order.
“To stop the spread of disinformation and rumors and divisive propaganda through various social media platforms, such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, etc. on mobile phones and SMS, for the 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. In the vigil of the violence in Delhi on January 26, Haryana Home Secretary Rajeev Arora issued an order to fasten mobile internet services in the three districts, which are neighboring Delhi, to “stop the spread of disinformation and rumors through various social media platforms, such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter” for mobilization of anti-social elements who can disrupt the peace, cause loss of life and harm to property.