Twitter block to highway spikes and a prepare diversion: bid to discourage stir


From a brief freeze on over 100 Twitter accounts seen as sympathetic to the farm protests to embedding spikes on roads, from diverting a Delhi-bound prepare to extending the web ban in seven Haryana districts by one other day — a slew of measures got here into impact Monday in a bid to discourage the protests, at the same time as farmers introduced a brand new nationwide ‘chakka jam’ on February 6.

On Monday, round 100 Twitter accounts and 150 tweets associated to the farmers’ protests went off the microblogging platform because the IT Ministry directed Twitter to take away these accounts below Part 69A of the Data Expertise Act. Nevertheless, by late night Monday, after a gathering between officers of the microblogging platform and the Ministry, the accounts had been “unwithheld” as Twitter held that the accounts and tweets “represent free speech and are newsworthy”, Twitter sources instructed The Indian Express.

“Pending our discussions with the regulatory authorities, we quickly withheld these accounts in India below our Nation Withheld Content material coverage in response to a legitimate authorized request from the Ministry of Electronics and Data Expertise. Throughout our subsequent conferences with the officers, Twitter conveyed that the accounts and tweets in query represent free speech and are newsworthy. Due to this fact, these tweets and accounts have now been unwithheld. Defending public dialog and transparency is prime to the work we do at Twitter,” stated a supply on the social media agency.

Earlier within the night, authorities sources had instructed The Indian Specific that Twitter tried to “push again”. “Sure, Twitter tried to push again towards the order, however we’ve got not modified something. You’ll be able to’t write that the PM is finishing up a genocide on farmers and get away with it. Twitter must implement this. Individuals can’t go on insulting the Prime Minister of the land like this,” stated a authorities supply.

A lot of the accounts that had been withheld had tweeted with the hashtag #ModiPlanningFarmerGenocide, sources say.

Among the many accounts that had been suspended embody these of Kisan Ekta Morcha and Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan), The Caravan journal, Prasar Bharti CEO Sashi Shekhar Vempati, Aam Aadmi Party MLA Jarnail Singh, CPI(M) chief Md Salim, activist Hansraj Meena, and actor Sushant Singh.

Monday morning additionally noticed greater than 2,000 iron nails being embedded in rows throughout the breadth of Rohtak Highway on the Tikri protest aspect. These nails, hammered in in a single day on orders of the Delhi Police, are positioned to puncture tyres of automobiles coming in from the Haryana aspect, stated policemen stationed on the website.

The Delhi aspect of the border with Haryana has turn out to be more and more fortified, with a number of layers of safety — two heavy layers of metallic barricading; a layer of enormous stone boulders; adopted by the row of nails on the highway and a layer of concrete barricades. A number of metres forward was one other layer of stone boulders, adopted by yet one more layer of concrete barricades.

At Singhu and Tikri borders too had been metal coils, cement boundaries and heavy police presence, with farmers claiming the “war-like” preparations had been an try and scare protesters away and switch locals towards them. At each these protest websites, cement was poured within the gaps between the barricades to maintain them in place and to make sure tractors don’t transfer out.

Additionally on Monday, the Punjab Mail was diverted whereas one other prepare, working through Punjab and Haryana and headed to Previous Delhi, was short-terminated at Bahadurgarh. Whereas the Railways referred to as it an “operational necessity”, the transfer prompted expenses that it was carried out to forestall farmers from reaching Delhi to affix the continuing protests.

PTI reported that the Haryana authorities on Monday prolonged until 5 pm on February 2 the suspension of cell web companies in seven districts of the state “to forestall any disturbance of peace and public order” amid the farmer protests. Cellular web, bulk SMSes and all dongle companies will keep suspended in Kaithal, Panipat, Jind, Rohtak, Charkhi Dadri, Sonipat and Jhajjar districts until 5 pm on February 2.

In the meantime, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha stated nationwide and state highways will probably be blocked for 3 hours in areas close to the agitation websites as a part of a nationwide ‘chakka jam’ on February 6 to protest towards the alleged “harassment” meted out to them by authorities.

With Amil Bhatnagar & Ashna Butani in Delhi, and PTI inputs


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