Karnal farmers protest: Haryana government suspends internet, police step up security

Forty companies of security personnel, including 10 companies of central paramilitary forces deployed, and mobile Internet services have been suspended in Karnal, ahead of the gherao planned by farmers at the mini-secretariat over the August 28 police lathicharge.

The National Highway No 44 (Ambala-Delhi) may see some traffic disruptions from Karnal. Mobile Internet services (2G/3G/4G/CDMA/GPRS), SMS services, including bulk SMS and all dongle services etc, will remain suspended till 11:59 pm on Tuesday.

The Haryana government has also ordered suspension of mobile Internet services in the nearby districts of Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind and Panipat for 24 hours from 12am on September 7 to “stop the spread of misinformation and rumours” on social media, according to an order of the Home Department.

This move comes ahead of the talks between Haryana BKU chief Gurnam Singh Chaduni and Karnal deputy commissioner Nishant Kumar on Monday.

The farm union leaders had earlier demanded registration of a case against those involved in the lathicharge, which left around 40 farmers injured also sought compensation of Rs 25 lakh and a government job for the family of farmer Sushil Singh, who died after allegedly sustaining injuries in the lathicharge, including financial assistance of ₹2 lakh each for all injured farmers, and free treatment to them at government hospitals.

The BKU chief said,” after failing to get satisfactory response from DC 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.”

The Karnal Deputy Commissioner Nishant Kumar Yadav. said farmers were told that their genuine demands might be considered but their “illegal” demands cannot be accepted.

He further requested people to avoid travelling on NH-44 from Karnal and security personnel have be deployed on the highway to avoid traffic congestions.

The DM said Section 144 of the CrPC has already been imposed in Haryana to avoid unnecessary gathering of people subjected to the threat to law and order.

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

Additional Director General of Police Navdeep Singh Virk said elaborate security arrangements have been made in view of the mahapanchayat.

The IG Police Karnal Range and all district SPs (Karnal Range) have been directed to take necessary precautionary measures to maintain law and order in the district and neighbouring districts too, Virk said.

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