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Internet Services Suspended in Seven Haryana Districts Amid Farmers’ Protest Concerns

The internet services and bulk SMS services will remain suspended from 6 am on February 11 until 11:59 pm on February 13th.

To restrict communication about the proposed ‘Dilli Chalo’ march by farmers on February 13, the Haryana Government has ordered the suspension of mobile internet services and bulk SMS services (excluding banking and mobile recharge) in seven districts of the State, from 6 am on February 11 until 11:59 pm on February 13. According to the copy of the order shared by Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC) on X, the internet suspension is imposed in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad, and Sirsa districts of Haryana. https://twitter.com/NetShutdowns/status/1756633533530186083 The Haryana government's Home Department has stated the internet ban is issued in “apprehension” of “tension, annoyance, agitation, damage of public & private property and disturbance of public peace & tranquility” in the above-mentioned districts in view of the farmers’ protests call. The usage of the phrase “clear potential” in the order, issued under section 5 of the Telegraph Act and Rule (2) of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017, shows that the authorities have suspended the internet in anticipation of danger to public life and property. Why it matters:The usage of the word “apprehension” and the phrase “clear potential” indicate that the Haryana government has taken to internet restriction as a preventive measure, without any substantial evidence of misinformation or “inflammatory material” that could affect public order. Such a move restricts legitimate information, especially during a major social and political movement, and adversely impacts people’s access to readily available means of communication, thereby limiting their freedom…

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Curious about the intersection of technology with education, caste and welfare rights. For story tips, please feel free to reach out at sarasvati@medianama.com

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