Even as the BJP government has been pushing for digital India after its move of demonetisation, it could not find any alternative to shutting down internet services in Haryana districts for maintenance of law and order during the ongoing Jat agitation.
After Sonepat, district administration of Rohtak on late Saturday night shut all mobile internet services. They include 2G, 3G, 4G, GPRS, pocket WiFi etc. Some broadband network subscribers too complained that their services had been working slow. Internet services in Jhajjar district were suspended earlier around the Jat dharna spot. However, they were restored soon.
The officials had earlier maintained that internet services will not be affected this time. Last year, during two rounds of Jat agitations in February and June, internet was suspended for over two weeks.
This time, however, the trouble could be even more after a lot of residents and businesses have turned digital. Though it has been over 100 days since the Narendra Modi led government scrapped old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes, maximum ATMs in Rohtak and adjoining districts have remained shut till now.
“More than 50% of our payments are done via mobile wallets. Such move will not only affect our business but also shake our trust in going digital,” said Pankaj Chawla, who runs a bakery shop in Rohtak.
The move to suspend internet services came a day ahead of Sunday, when the Jat community has given a call to observe “Balidaan Divas” and massive crowds of supporters are expected to take part in ongoing dharnas across Haryana.
Though sources in the administration said the internet services were not likely to suspended for longer times, it will depend a lot on how the situation turns out on Sunday.