The suspension of internet services has been extended in certain areas of some Punjab districts, including Patiala, Sangrur and Fatehgarh Sahib, till February 24 on the orders of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

Earlier, the internet services were suspended from February 12 till February 16 in view of the farmers' 'Delhi Chalo' march.

According to the Ministry's February 16 order, internet services will remain suspended in areas falling under Shambhu, Julkan, Passian, Patran, Shatrana, Samana, Ghanaur, Devigarh and Balbhera police stations in Patiala; Lalru police station in Mohali; Sangat police station in Bathinda; Killianwali police station in Muktsar; Sardulgarh and Boha police stations in Mansa; and Khanauri, Moonak, Lehra, Sunam and Chajli police stations in Sangrur; and areas under Fatehgarh Sahib police station.

The Centre used its special powers under the Telegraph Act of 1885 to suspend internet services in these areas of Punjab.

"In exercise of the power conferred by section 7 of Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 read with Sub-rule 1 of Rule 2 of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules 2017, and in the interest of maintaining public safety and averting public emergency, it is necessary and expedient to order, the temporary suspension of internet services from 00:00 Hrs on February 17, 2024 to 23:59 Hrs on February 24, 2024 in the following areas," the order read.

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had raised the issue regarding the suspension of internet services at select areas during the February 15 meeting between three Union Ministers and farmer leaders in Chandigarh.

The Haryana Government has suspended mobile internet services and bulk SMS in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa districts.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (non-political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha are spearheading the 'Delhi Chalo' agitation to put pressure on the Centre over their demands, including a law on minimum support price for crops and loan waivers.

Farmers from Punjab began their 'Delhi Chalo' march on Tuesday but were stopped by security personnel at the Shambhu and Khanauri border points between Punjab and Haryana. The protesting farmers have been camping at the border points ever since.