Mobile internet suspended, section 144 imposed in Karnal ahead of farmers' protest

The Haryana government ordered suspension of mobile Internet services from 12:30 pm on Monday to Tuesday midnight

Karnal (Haryana): Central forces were deployed, mobile Internet services suspended and prohibitory orders banning gathering of people were imposed here on Monday, a day ahead of the gherao planned by farmers at the mini-secretariat over the August 28 lathicharge.

The Haryana government ordered suspension of mobile Internet services from 12:30 pm on Monday to Tuesday midnight to "stop the spread of misinformation and rumours" on social media, according to an order of the Home Department.

Forty companies of security personnel, including 10 companies of central paramilitary forces, have been deployed in the district where local authorities have also imposed prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC, officials said.

Haryana BKU chief Gurnam Singh Chaduni said that they had given a deadline of September 6 to the administration to meet their demands.

He said a meeting with district administration officials was held here on Monday, but after failing to get any satisfactory response about their demands they decided to hold a big panchayat on Tuesday morning before proceeding to the mini-secretariat to gherao it.

"We will hold a peaceful protest, but if the administration stops us, then we will break barricades," Chaduni told reporters here, adding that farmers have no plan to block the national highway. The order suspending mobile Internet services stated that "to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order" here, mobile Internet services (2G/3G/4G/CDMA/GPRS), SMS services, including bulk SMS (excluding banking and mobile recharge) and all dongle services etc, except voice calling, will remain suspended with effect from 12:30 pm on Monday till 11:59 pm on Tuesday. Earlier, the district administration issued prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC, banning the assembly of five or more people, and a traffic advisory with planned route diversions, the officials said. According to a Haryana police advisory, National Highway No 44 (Ambala-Delhi) may see some traffic disruptions in the district on Tuesday. "Therefore, the general public using NH-44 are advised to avoid journey through Karnal town or otherwise use alternate routes to go to their destination on September 7," it said. Karnal Superintendent of Police Ganga Ram Punia said a total of 40 companies of security personnel, including 10 of Central Armed Police Forces, also comprising CRPF and BSF personnel, have been deployed. With additional force from neighbouring districts in place, five SP-rank officers and 25 DSP-rank officers will oversee security arrangements here, Punia said.

Drones fitted with cameras will be mobilised as part of security measures, he said. No one will be allowed to take law into one's hand, said Karnal Deputy Commissioner Nishant Kumar Yadav.

Speaking to reporters in Chandigarh, Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij appealed to farmers to ensure that the protest is peaceful and the common man is not affected.

Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Navdeep Singh Virk said elaborate security arrangements have been made in view of the call for the gherao of mini-secretariat.

The IG Police Karnal Range and all district Superintendents of Police (Karnal Range) have been directed to take necessary preventive and precautionary measures to maintain law and order in Karnal and adjoining districts, Virk said.

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmer outfits protesting against the farm laws, had threatened to lay siege to the Karnal mini-secretariat on Tuesday if its demands were not met.

The Haryana Police had lathicharged a group of farmers disrupting traffic movement on a national highway near here on August 28 while heading towards Karnal to protest against a BJP meeting. Over 10 protesters were injured.

The SKM had said a murder case should be registered against IAS officer Ayush Sinha who was caught on tape allegedly telling policemen to "break heads" of protesting farmers. Sinha, who was later transferred in a reshuffle also involving some other IAS officers, has now been posted as the additional secretary in the Citizen Resources Information Department.

Chaduni had earlier sought registration of a case against those involved in the lathicharge. He also demanded a compensation of Rs 25 lakh and a government job for the family of a farmer who died after allegedly sustaining injuries in the lathicharge.

However, the administration here claimed that the farmer was not injured in the police action but had died due to a heart attack.

Meanwhile, according to police advisory, vehicles coming from Delhi side will be allowed to reach Chandigarh via Pepsi Bridge (Panipat) via Munak to Assandh and Munak to Gagsina, via Ghoghadipur to Hansi Chowk of Karnal, via Bypass Western Yamuna Canal to Karna Lake via GT Road 44.

Apart from this, light vehicles will be diverted towards Chandigarh via Madhuban, Daha, Bajida, Ghogharipur, Hansi Chowk, Bypass Yamuna Canal, Karna Lake, GT Road 44.

On Tuesday, vehicles coming from Chandigarh side will be diverted from Pipli Chowk (Kurukshetra) via Ladwa, Indri, Bayana, Neval, Kunjpura via Nangla Megha, Meerut via Amritpur Khurd, Kairavali and Gharaunda via GT Road 44.

Next Story