The Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday extended till February 2 the suspension of internet services near Delhi’s borders – Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri – where thousands of farmers are protesting against the new agricultural laws, reported ANI. The ban would remain in place till 11 pm on Tuesday.
Authorities had first blocked mobile internet services at the three protest sites on January 30, as tensions arose after a farmers’ tractor rally on Republic Day turned into chaos. The Union Home Ministry had said that internet services need to be suspended to “maintain public safety” and to avert a public emergency.
At least one protester was killed and over 300 police officers were injured after thousands of farmers took to the streets of Delhi on Tuesday to call for the repeal of contentious new agriculture laws. Protestors broke through barricades and poured into the city, clashing with a police force that tried to push them back with tear gas and a baton charge. Some of them stormed the Red Fort.
The Delhi Police said on Saturday that 84 people have been arrested and 38 first information reports filed so far in connection with the violence.
Several farmer leaders, including Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav and Bharatiya Kisan Union’s Haryana unit President Gurnam Singh Chaduni, were named in one of the FIRs filed by the police.
The police have alleged that farmer leaders made inflammatory speeches, and were involved in the violence during the tractor parade. Farmers have denied the allegations and blamed “antisocial elements” for the chaos.