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As protests against the new ‘Agnipath’ recruitment scheme intensified in Bihar, the state government has suspended internet services in 12 districts. According to a new order issued by the additional chief secretary of the Bihar government, internet services are banned in Kaimer, Bhojpur, Aurangabad, Rohtas, Buxer, Nawada, West Champaran, Samastipur, Lakhisarai, Begusarai, Vaishali and Saran districts till 19 June. The step has been taken in the interest of public safety as the authorities suspect that social networking and instant messaging platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and others were being misused to spread misinformation. all internet service providers have been instructed to stop any transmission of messages. In an official statement, Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Chaitanya Prasad, said: “Under Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, the state government has temporarily suspended telecom services in the interest of public safety.”
As per the reports, the internet service has been suspended from 2 PM on Friday to 2 PM on Sunday. Use of social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Skype, Telegram, Youtube etc has also been suspended for the period to stop misinformation about the Agnipath scheme protests being spread.
The move comes as earlier in the day, after protesters disrupted the movement of trains in various districts of Bihar. Protestors agitating at the Hajipur railway station were detained. During the agitation, a mob even attacked the house of Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi.
Bihar has been witnessing agitations since Wednesday, a day after the government announced the new recruitment scheme on a four-year contractual basis. Some have even called for Bihar Bandh on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the agitation spread to the southern states as well. Telangana police had to resort aerial firing to disperse the angry crowd at the Secunderabad railway station after protests escalated into large-scale violence and arson.
According to PTI, a man was shot dead in police firing in Telangana’s Secunderabad, trains went up in flames, and public and private vehicles attacked, as railway stations and highways turned into battleground in many states on Friday amid burgeoning protests against Agnipath, the contentious defence recruitment scheme. Indian Railways cancelled 234 trains while 340 trains have been affected due to the protests.
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