Haryana’s Home Secretary Rajeev Arora said internet services were snapped to “stop the spread of disinformation and rumours through various social media platforms, such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter” for mobilisation of antisocial elements who can disturb peace, cause loss of life and damage to property.
The order will remain in effect till 5 pm of January 27, he said.
He said the order covers internet services (2G/ 3G/4G/CDMA/GPRS), all SMS services (excluding banking and mobile recharge) and “all dongle services etc provided on mobile networks except voice calls in territorial jurisdiction of districts Sonipat, Palwal and Jhajjar”.
He asked all telecom service providers in Haryana including the Head of BSNL (Haryana jurisdiction) to ensure compliance.
“This order is being passed ex-parte in view of the emergent situation. Any person found guilty of violation of this order will be liable for legal action under relevant provisions,” as per the order.
The order was issued in view of the potential law and order situation on account of events which unfolded during the farmers’ tractor parade in the national capital, he said.
The three Haryana districts are in Delhi’s neighbourhood.
The farmers protesting against the new farm laws have been sitting in protest for two months at Delhi’s various border points including Sonipat and Jhajjar districts. Earlier in the day, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs decided to temporarily suspend the internet in parts of Delhi like Singhu, Ghazipur, Tikri, Mukarba Chowk and Nangloi and their adjoining areas for 12 hours from Tuesday noon.
Arora said it was brought to his notice by the Haryana ADGP, CID that there was a likelihood of danger to human life and property and disturbance of public peace in some areas of Haryana adjoining the national capital by protesters and antisocial elements in view of the situation created on account of tractor parade.
His order also said there have been incidents of gherao in some locations in New Delhi and a similar situation was possible in Haryana.
“There is a clear potential of disruption of public utilities, damage to public assets and amenities and disruption of public law and order in adjoining districts of national capital territory on account of misuse of internet services by way of spread of inflammatory material and false rumours,” he said.