People living in parts of Noida and Delhi-NCR are facing internet connectivity issues today. Following the lawlessness that unfolded at the farmers' tractor rally on Republic Day, the Union Home Ministry suspended internet services at the Singhu border, Tikri border, Ghazipur border, Mukarba Chowk and Nangloi, which were the flashpoints of the tractor rally violence that took place yesterday.
The MHA did not lay down the kind of internet services - mobile or home broadband - but users are finding it difficult to access internet across large parts of Delhi-NCR. The suspension of internet facilities in areas closer to farmers protest sites is likely to be extended if the situation remains tense.
The government has invoked the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017 "in the interest of public safety and averting public emergency to suspend internet services in areas closer to farmers protest sites."
Telecom networks like Airtel, Jio, Vi, and BSNL have informed their subscribers that internet services have been suspended till further notice. An SMS by a telecom operator read, "As per the government instructions, the internet services have been temporarily stopped in your area because of which you are not able to use these services. You will be able to use the internet services once we get directions from the government."
A telecom analyst told BusinessToday.In, "The internet services are essential for mobilising crowds on a large scale. Today, we saw the situation went out of control after protests turned violent. Till the government is not comfortable with the law and order situation, the internet services are not coming back."
Internet services were last suspended during the anti-CAA protests in Delhi in December 2019. Telecom operators had then suspended all services including voice and SMS for four hours- 09:00 am to 01:00 pm on December 19, 2019.