Internet services suspended in Delhi's border areas for two days
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday issued a notification saying internet services will be temporarily suspended in Delhi's border areas—Ghazipur, Singhu, and Tikri—the epicenters of the farmers' protests against the newly-enacted farm laws. To note, the move comes four days after the unprecedented violence witnessed in the national capital during the farmers' tractor rally on Republic Day. Here are more details.
The notification stated temporary suspension of internet was ordered in "the interest of maintaining public safety and averting public emergency." "It is necessary and expedient to order the temporary suspension of internet services in the areas of Singhu, Ghazipur, and Tikri, and their adjoining areas in the NCT of Delhi from 11 pm on January 29 to 11 pm on January 31," it said.
While the Home Ministry ordered the suspension of internet services at Delhi's borders and adjoining areas for 48 hours (from January 29-31) on Saturday, the Haryana Government earlier on Friday suspended mobile internet services in a total of 17 districts until 5:00 pm on Saturday.
After the Centre ordered the suspension of internet services at Delhi's Ghazipur, Tikri, and Singhu borders, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait said that if the government thinks stopping internet services at Ghazipur will weaken the farmers' movement, then it is deluded. "The more they try to crush the voice of the farmers, the greater this movement will become," he tweeted in Hindi.
गाजीपुर बॉर्डर पर इंटरनेट बंद कर दिया है सरकार ने , उन्हें लगता है कि इससे आंदोलन को वो कमजोर कर देंगे तो ये उनका वहम है । किसानों की आवाज़ को कुचलने के वो जितना प्रयास करेंगे ये आंदोलन उतना बड़ा होता जाएगा।— Rakesh Tikait (@rkeshtikait) January 30, 2021
Meanwhile, Krantikari Kisan Union's leader, Darshan Pal, on Friday demanded the restoration of internet services suspended earlier at five protest sites on Delhi's border, adding protesters would otherwise hold a demonstration against it. "We demand the restoration of internet services in areas where agitation is going on," Pal told reporters. "Otherwise, we will hold a demonstration against it in the country," he added.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, among other states, have been protesting at different borders of Delhi since November. On Republic Day, however, during their tractor rally, protesters broke barricades, went off the designated routes, and turned the rally violent. Delhi witnessed unprecedented violence and chaos as protesters attacked cops, broke into the Red Fort, and hoisted Sikh flag there.
The three farm laws that the farmers are opposing include the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. Their demands include repealing these laws and ensuring that minimum support price (MSP) for their crops is legally guaranteed, among others.