MHA extends internet ban for two more days on Delhi border

Farmer groups continue to swell in large groups to protest against the Centre’s three farm laws at Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri

Published - February 01, 2021 12:45 pm IST - New Delhi:

Barbed wire put across a road at Ghazipur border during the farmers' protest, in New Delhi/

Barbed wire put across a road at Ghazipur border during the farmers' protest, in New Delhi/

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) extended the suspension of internet for two more days at Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri — the three locations bordering Delhi where farmer groups continue to swell in large groups to protest against the three farm laws passed by the Parliament last September.

The MHA invoked the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety Rules 2017) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 to suspend internet in Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri from 11 p.m. on January 31 to 11 p.m. on February 2.

The emergency provisions were invoked by the Ministry on January 26 and 30 due to the ongoing farmers’ protest.

Before this, the provision has only been issued twice before — during the anti- Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests on December 19 and 20, 2019. The rules framed in 2017 empower the Union Home Secretary and a State’s Home Secretary to pass directions to suspend the telecom services, including internet, in an area “due to public emergency or public safety.”

The latest order to suspend internet said, “In the interest of maintaining public safety and averting any public emergency, it is necessary and expedient to order the temporary suspension of internet in areas of Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri and their adjoining areas in the NCT of Delhi from 23:00 hours on January 31, 2021 to 23:00 hours on February 2 ,2021. This has the approval of the Union Home Secretary.”

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