Agnipath: Haryana govt suspends mobile internet, SMS in Ballabgarh; Sec 144 imposed in Gurugram
Faridabad, Jun 17: Haryana government on Friday suspended mobile internet and SMS services for 24 hours in the Ballabhgarh area of Faridabad district as a precautionary measure in view of violent protests against the Agnipath scheme.
The Home department issued the order which will come into effect after 12 am on Friday. Hence, mobile internet services, all SMS services, including bulk SMS (excluding banking and mobile recharge), and all dongle services provided on mobile networks have been suspended to maintain law and order and prevent the spread of rumours, officials told PTI news.
The statement stated that the decision was taken as there is a likelihood of "tension, annoyance, obstruction or injury to persons, danger to human life and property, disturbance of public peace and tranquillity" in Ballabgarh sub-division by the agitated protesters, in view of the potential law and order situation in the adjourning Palwal district over the Agnipath scheme.
"In order to stop the spread of disinformation and rumours through various social media platforms, on mobile phones and SMS, for facilitation and mobilisation of mobs... in the exercise of powers conferred upon me by virtue of Section 5 of Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 to be read along with Rule (2) of Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety ) Rules, 2017, Home Secretary, Haryana, I do hereby order the suspension of mobile internet services... all SMS services... and all dongle services etc. provided on mobile networks except the voice call in the territorial jurisdiction of Sub Division Ballabgarh," the order read.
"All telecom service providers of Haryana are hereby directed to ensure the compliance of this order," it said.
The Haryana government has imposed a curfew and has banned large gatherings in Gurugram. "Prohibitory orders u/s 144 CrPC issued to restrict the gathering of more than four persons in Gurugram. Strict action will be taken against violators," Gurugram DM said.
There has been a widespread protest against 'Agnipath' scheme in several parts of the country.
Trains were set afire, window panes of buses smashed and passersby, including a ruling BJP MLA, pelted with stones in Bihar by Army job aspirants whose protest against the short-term recruitment scheme continued for the second consecutive day. Protests against the scheme also took place in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Hundreds of young people took to the streets in Haryana's Gurugram, Rewari and Palwal while scores of youngsters in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr and Ballia districts staged protests against it.