Punjab suspends mobile Net, SMS
Chandigarh: In view of the call for Bharat Bandh on Monday over the Supreme Court verdict that “diluted” provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the Punjab government on Sunday announced suspension of all mobile Internet, SMS and dongle services. The government has also announced to close educational institutions, banks, and public transport system. The Army is on standby. The mobile Internet, SMS and dongle services will remain suspended till 11 pm on Monday.The biggest concern for the state authorities is that Punjab has the highest population of SCs in the country. The government said the decision was taken on the basis of security inputs. An official spokesperson said PRTC, Punjab Roadways and Punbus buses would remain off road. JS Grewal of the mini-bus operators’ union said private buses will also remain off road. He criticised the government for not plying public transport as it was “supposed to protect property and not to help those calling for a bandh call”.DGP Suresh Arora said Punjab Police had mobilised 10,000 additional cops, including eight companies of paramilitary forces, to maintain law and order.The National Scheduled Castes Alliance, meanwhile, has asked the SC community leaders to “think above party policies and work towards creating better conditions for the community”.Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has appealed for calm.