Chandigarh: Haryana was put on high alert on Tuesday and mobile internet services were suspended in three districts of Sonipat, Jhajjar and Palwal until 5 pm Wednesday, the state government said, as violent farmers’ protest rocked neighbouring Delhi.
In the wake of the events which unfolded in the national capital, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar held a special meeting of his cabinet and appealed to all farmers to return to their homes.
The need of the hour is to together defeat the designs of antisocial elements, said Khattar.
He also chaired a high level meeting with senior officials including Chief Secretary Vijai Vardhan, Home Secretary Rajeev Arora and Director General of Police Manoj Yadava in the evening to take stock of the situation.
The DGP said a high alert has been sounded in the state in view of the violent incidents in several areas during the farmers’ tractor parade in Delhi. He directed all district police chiefs to be extremely vigilant.
Haryana Roadways bus services to Delhi were also affected in the wake of the events in the national capital, with a senior Transport Department official saying they were assessing the situation.
Home Secretary Rajeev Arora said the order to suspend mobile internet services in three districts – Palwal, Sonipat and Jhajjar – was taken to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order in the districts.
The order will remain in effect till 5 pm of 27 January, 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 district Sonipat, Palwal and Jhajjar of Haryana State”.
The order was issued in view of the potential law and order situation on account of events in the national capital and to prevent any kind of spread of disinformation and rumours through various social media platforms, he said.
The three Haryana districts lie adjoining the national capital.
The Chief Minister later directed all Deputy Commissioners, Commissioners of Police, and Superintendents of Police to remain on ‘high alert’ so as to ensure the law and order situation in the state is not disturbed, an official statement said.
Earlier during his Republic Day address in Panchkula, Khattar in an apparent reference to the farmers’ stir against the Centre’s new farm laws, said one has the freedom to agitate, but not to spread anarchy.
Khattar described as “most unfortunate” the incident of a protesting farmer hoisting a flag at the Red Fort, Delhi.
He said hoisting any flag on the Red Fort other than the tricolour was an insult to the freedom fighters and martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the nation.
In a statement, DGP Yadava said all Commissioners of Police, Range ADGP/IGs and district Superintendents of Police have been asked to be on a high alert to deal strictly with rioters and miscreants.
Additional force has also been deployed in sensitive areas. Besides, the intelligence wing of the police is also monitoring the entire situation, he said.
The DGP warned that the police will not allow anyone to disturb law and order in the state.
He also said anyone found instigating riot through any kind of rumour will be strictly dealt with as per the law.
Police are also keeping a close eye on social media. Strict action will be taken if any kind of misleading, provocative, provoking and anarchic post is shared or forwarded on social media. People should not pay attention to the rumours and follow the Haryana Police website and Twitter handle for the latest updates,” the DGP added.