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'Violation of Fundamental Right': Petition in SC Seeks Restoration of Internet Services at Farmer Protest Sites

News18.com

Last Updated: February 06, 2021, 20:28 IST

New Delhi

File photo of the farmers' protest.

File photo of the farmers' protest.

The petition filed by two advocates, Sanpreet Singh Ajmani and Pushpinder Singh, says snapping internet is a violation of fundamental rights.

Hours after the Ministry of Home Affairs ordered the suspension of internet services at Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri borders of Delhi, where farmers have been protesting against the new farm laws, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the government to restore mobile internet in these areas.

According to NDTV, the petition filed by two advocates, Sanpreet Singh Ajmani and Pushpinder Singh, says snapping internet is a violation of fundamental rights.

The authorities had snapped internet at the protest sites to prevent trouble after a tractor rally by farmers on January 26 turned violent in Delhi. A man had died near ITO in central Delhi during the protest, reportedly in an accident. The petition, however, sought a judicial probe into the death, the report stated.

“Access to internet has been upheld as a part of fundamental right by the Supreme Court in the matter related to Jammu and Kashmir… By shutting the internet the government is trying to stop farmers and journalists from bringing the true picture before the nation,” the petition said.

“Internet has been suspended around farmers’ protest cites and only the government’s narrative is getting brought forward, which is clear attack on fundamental rights… The entire Sikh community is blamed and defamed by some news channels, spreading hate against the community…” the petition said.

The Ministry of Home Affairs suspended internet services at Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri borders of Delhi till Saturday night in the wake of ‘chakka jam’. Apart from the three sites, internet services will remain suspended in their adjoining areas too till 23:59 hours on February 6.

The decision was taken to ‘maintain public safety and averting public emergency’ under Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules 2017, a home ministry official said. The internet has been suspended in view of the ‘chakka jam’ (road blockade) call given by the farmers’ unions for Saturday, another official said.

Earlier, the suspension of internet services was ordered at Singhu, Ghazipur, and Tikri borders and their adjoining areas from 11 PM on January 29 and was effective till 11 PM on January 31, which was further extended till February 2. On January 26, when large-scale violence was reported during the farmers’ tractor rally, internet services were temporarily suspended in some parts of Delhi.

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