Haryana on Monday evening extended the ban on mobile internet and SMS services in seven districts of the state till 5 pm on February 2, reported PTI. The government said this was done to “to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order” amid the farmers’ protest against the new agricultural laws.
An official order stated that the government has extended the suspension of mobile internet services (2G/3G/4G/CDMA/GPRS), Bulk SMS services and all dongle services provided on mobile networks in – Kaithal, Panipat, Jind, Rohtak, Charkhi Dadri, Sonipat and Jhajjar – till 5 pm on Tuesday. There is no restriction on making voice calls.
The suspension of mobile internet, however, was not extended in Ambala, Bhiwani, Sirsa, Fatehabad, Kurukshetra, Karnal and Hisar, where services had been blocked until 5 pm on February 1.
On Sunday, the authorities had also lifted the ban on internet services imposed in Yamunanagar, Palwal and Rewari districts, after suspending them initially until 5 pm of January 31.
The Haryana government had first ordered the suspension of mobile internet services in Sonipat, Jhajjar and Palwal districts on January 26 after a tractor rally by farmers in Delhi turned chaotic after the police clashed with them. On January 30, it had extended the suspension to 17 districts.
One protestor was killed and over 300 police officers were injured after thousands of farmers took to the streets of Delhi on Republic Day to call for the repeal of contentious new agriculture laws. Protestors broke through barricades and poured into the city, clashing with the police that tried to push them back with tear gas and a baton charge. Some of them stormed the Red Fort.
Following the violence, internet services were also blocked at the three Delhi borders – Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur – where farmers have been camped in for over two months. On Monday the ban was extended till February 2, 11 pm.