Section 144 in Nuh, Haryana govt suspends mobile internet
Haryana DGP Shatrujeet Kapur has held a meeting with senior police officers of bordering states and called for a coordinated effort to deal with the situation
The Haryana government on Saturday ordered the suspension of mobile internet and bulk SMS services in the communally-charged Nuh district until August 28 in view of a call for a 'shobha yatra' (ceremonial procession). The order to suspend mobile internet was issued by additional chief secretary (home) TVSN Prasad.
The district administration has also imposed Section 144 of the CrPC, prohibiting the assembly of four or more people in an area, as a precautionary measure. This order will be effective from 26-28 August, officials said.
During this period, no person will be allowed to carry weapons such as licensed firearms, sticks, axes and similar.
In view of the yatra, director-general of police Shatrujeet Kapur presided over a meeting with senior officers of bordering states and union territories through video conferencing and called for a coordinated effort to effectively deal with the situation.
At the meeting, attended by senior police officers of Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chandigarh, Kapur said the administration has denied permission for the yatra owing to a meeting of the G20 Sherpa Group, scheduled to be held in Nuh from 3-7 September, and to maintain law and order in the aftermath of the 31 July violence.
The order issued by Prasad reads, "...This order is issued to prevent disturbance of peace and public order in the jurisdiction of district Nuh and shall be in force with effect from August 26, 1200 hours, to August 28, 2359 hours."
On Friday, Nuh deputy commissioner Dhirendra Khadgata wrote to Prasad, bringing to his notice that the Sarv Jatiya Hindu Mahapanchayat had called for a Brij Mandal Shoba Yatra in the district on 28 August, and said there was apprehension about the "misuse" of social media/ bulk messages "by anti-social elements to disturb the peace".
"Therefore, it is necessary to suspend all mobile internet and bulk SMS services in Nuh district to avoid any untoward situation," Khadgata wrote, requesting Prasad to issue necessary directions.
In his Saturday order, Prasad said there is a clear potential for the disruption of public utilities, damage to public assets and amenities, and disturbance of public law and order in Nuh via the spread of rumours and inflammatory content through the internet.
Nuh authorities had recently denied permission to hold the religious procession on 28 August after an earlier one in July was disrupted following communal violence.
The Haryana government had earlier suspended mobile Internet services in Nuh after communal clashes broke out. Six people, including two home guards and a cleric, died in the violence, which broke out when a religious procession of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) was allegedly attacked by a mob on 31 July.
According to an official statement on Saturday, DGP Kapur said despite permission being denied for the yatra, there are inputs that certain organisations have invited people from Haryana and neighbouring states to reach Nuh on 28 August. He added that all necessary arrangements have been made by Haryana Police in view of the proposed yatra.
Emphasising the need to share intelligence inputs to effectively deal with the situation, Kapur asked senior police functionaries of bordering states to ensure regular monitoring of social media and share information about attempts to disrupt public peace through hate speeches.
Inter-state barricading should also be done to prevent any kind of mobilisation of people, he added.
Additional director general of police (law and order) Mamta Singh will be the nodal officer stationed in Nuh.