Haryana, Nuh violence, Mamman Khan arrest

Police personnel stand guard outside a court where arrested Congress MLA Mamman Khan will be produced in connection with the Nuh violence case. Photo: PTI

Haryana: Mobile internet services suspended in Nuh hours after Congress MLA’s arrest

The additional chief secretary said there is a clear potential for disruption of public utilities and disturbance of law and order due to misuse of internet services.

Hours after Congress MLA Mamman Khan was arrested in connection with the July 31 Nuh violence, the Haryana government on Friday (September 15) ordered the suspension of mobile Internet and bulk SMS services in the district for two days to prevent "the spread of misinformation and rumours". A government order in this regard does not mention anything about Khan's arrest though.

"This order is issued to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order in the jurisdiction of district Nuh in the state of Haryana and shall be in force with effect from September 15 (10:00hrs) to September 16 (23:59hrs)," says the order issued by the Home Department Additional Chief Secretary TVSN Prasad.

Prasad said the decision was taken after the Nuh deputy commissioner wrote to him on Thursday (September 14) expressing apprehension there could be tension, agitation, damage of public and private property, and disturbance of peace and tranquillity in the district.

The additional chief secretary agreed there is a clear potential for disruption of public utilities, damage to assets and amenities, and disturbance of law and order in Nuh on account of misuse of internet services.

He said inflammatory material and false rumours are being or could be circulated to the public through social media and messaging services through internet, SMS, and dongle services.

"In order to stop the spread of misinformation and rumours through various social media platforms, such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, etc. on mobile phones and SMS for facilitation and mobilisation of mobs of agitators and demonstrators who can cause serious loss of life and damage to public and private properties by indulging in arson or vandalism and other types of violent activities, the mobile internet has been suspended," he said.

"...I do hereby order the suspension of the mobile internet services (2G/3G/4G/5G/CDMA/GPRS), bulk SMS (excluding banking and mobile recharge) and all dongle services etc. provided on mobile networks except the voice calls in the jurisdiction of district Nuh of Haryana State," Prasad's order reads.

‘Order issued after taking utmost care of public convenience’

He emphasised that the order was being issued after taking utmost care of public convenience by exempting individual SMS, mobile recharge, banking SMS, voice calls, internet services provided by broadband, and leased lines of corporate and domestic households.

“This ensures commercial and financial interest of the state and basic domestic needs of individuals are not affected,” the order said.

Khan, the Ferozepur Jhirka legislator, was named an accused in an FIR lodged after the communal clashes. He was arrested late last night (September 14), the Haryana Police said.

Adequate police forces have been deployed in the entire Nuh district following Khan's arrest. Tight security arrangements have been made in and around the court complex where Khan is expected to be produced by the police later in the day.

The Haryana government had last month too suspended mobile internet services in the Nuh district for several days after the July 31 incident of violence.

A Vishva Hindu Parishad-led procession was attacked by mobs in Nuh on July 31. Six people were killed, most of them during the attack. A cleric died in an attack on a mosque in adjoining Gurugram.

(With agency inputs)

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