In response to the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march by farmers, Haryana has ordered the suspension of mobile internet and bulk SMS services in seven districts. Additionally, the Shambhu border has been sealed.

Haryana Police took measures to block both sides of the highway at Shambhu barrier over the Ghaggar River in Ambala by installing concrete blocks and metal sheets. Additionally, they excavated the Ghaggar river bed to deter farmers from accessing the highway with tractors.

In anticipation of the farmers’ planned Delhi Chalo march, the Haryana government has taken strict measures. On Saturday, they sealed the state’s border with Punjab in Ambala and enforced the suspension of mobile internet and bulk SMS services in seven districts from 6 am on February 11 until 23:59 pm on February 13. Concrete blocks and metal sheets were installed by the Haryana Police at both sides of the highway at the Shambhu barrier over the Ghaggar River in Ambala, with additional measures such as digging up the Ghaggar river bed to prevent farmers from accessing the highway with tractors. Furthermore, police have arranged for elaborate border sealing in Jind and Fatehabad districts, urging commuters to limit travel on main roads on February 13, the day of the proposed march. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha have declared that over 200 farmers’ unions will participate in the march to press the Centre for their demands, including the enactment of a law guaranteeing a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

The suspension of mobile internet services was implemented due to concerns about potential disruptions to peace in light of the planned march.

The order issued by Additional Chief Secretary (home) TVSN Prasad highlighted concerns raised by the Additional Director General of Police, CID, Haryana, regarding potential disturbances due to the farmers’ march/agitation. The order emphasized the risk of tension, agitation, and damage to public and private property, as well as the disruption of public peace and tranquility in several districts including Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad, and Sirsa. It further underscored the potential for misuse of internet services to spread inflammatory material and false rumors, leading to disruptions in public utilities, damage to public assets, and disturbances in public law and order.

The decision was further justified as a means to prevent the dissemination of misinformation and rumors across various social media platforms, which could potentially incite mobs of agitators and demonstrators. Such mobilization was deemed capable of causing significant loss of life and damage to public and private properties through arson, vandalism, and other violent activities.

Director General of Police Shatrujeet Kapur, along with Inspector General of Police (Ambala Range) Siwas Kaviraj and Ambala Superintendent of Police Jashandeep Singh, visited the Shambhu border to assess the preparedness and arrangements.

In a traffic advisory, ADGP (law and order) Mamta Singh advised commuters traveling from Chandigarh to Delhi to consider alternative routes via Derabassi, Barwala/Ramgarh, Saha, Shahbad, Kurukshetra, or through Panchkula, NH-344 Yamunanagar Indri/Pipli, Karnal.

Similarly, passengers journeying from Delhi to Chandigarh were instructed to opt for routes via Karnal, Indri/Pipli, Yamunanagar, Panchkula, or Kurukshetra, Shahbad, Saha, Barwala, Ramgarh, as per police directives.

The advisory stated that senior police officers have been instructed to minimize inconvenience to the public and ensure smooth law and order operations.

Police have prepared to implement temporary traffic route changes in affected districts, particularly Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Fatehabad, and Sirsa.

However, traffic movement will remain unaffected on other routes in the state, with police urging the public to avoid unnecessary outings during this period.

A senior official indicated that there is a possibility of closure for the Ambala-Chandigarh highway (NH-152), Ambala-Hisar highway (NH-65), and Ambala-Kala Amb highway (NH-344) in the coming days.

SP Randhawa announced plans to increase barricades for border sealing, with armed police personnel deployed to maintain peace and prevent violence.

Ambala Deputy Commissioner Dr. Shaleen stated that borders with Punjab would be completely sealed, with no movement allowed, and liquor vends in border areas would be shut down.

The advisory emphasized guidelines for senior police officers to minimize public inconvenience and ensure law and order.

In addition to a legal MSP guarantee, farmers are demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, pensions for farmers and laborers, farm debt forgiveness, withdrawal of police cases, and justice for victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

In 2020, a significant gathering of farmers from Punjab and adjacent regions near Ambala congregated at the Shambhu border, where they breached police barriers in an attempt to advance towards Delhi.

Leave a comment