Tuesday, May 28
Section 144 imposed, mobile internet curbed in Leh ahead of Pashmina Border March

Section 144 imposed, mobile internet curbed in Leh ahead of Pashmina Border March

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LEH: Ahead of the Pashmina Border March scheduled for Sunday, the Ladakh administration on Friday imposed CrPC section 144 in Leh, prohibiting the organisation of any kind of processions, rallies, or marches, even as the high-speed mobile internet services have also been ordered to be snapped for a period of 24 hours from Saturday evening till Sunday evening.

Section 144 prohibits large assemblies of four or more people. Sonam Wangchuk, who was to lead the march of civil society towards the China border, expressed his shock over the development, and alleged that the authorities have been restricting people coming from other villages to join the ‘peaceful’ demonstration in Leh.

The fast-paced developments occurred only hours before the Pashmina Border March was scheduled to begin in Leh.

During his 21-day fast last month in support of Ladakh’s demands for Statehood and inclusion into the sixth schedule of the constitution, Wangchuk had called for the Ladakhis to join him on a border march for an “onground check” of the alleged encroachment of grazing land at the India-China border on April 7.

On Friday evening, authorities in Leh district enforced Section 144 of the CrPC 1973 to uphold peace in the region.

According to an order issued by District Magistrate Leh, Santosh Sukhadeve, IAS, in response to a report from Senior Superintendent of Police, Leh, reliable information suggests a potential breach of peace and public tranquility in the district.

Thus, to prevent any disturbances and ensure the safety of human life, Section 144 of the CrPC 1973 has been invoked, said the order.

The order prohibits the organisation of processions, rallies, or marches without prior written approval from the District Magistrate. Additionally, the use of mounted vehicles or loudspeakers requires prior authorization from the competent authority.

Public gatherings are strictly prohibited without prior approval, and individuals are cautioned against making statements that could disrupt communal harmony or public tranquility, potentially leading to law and order issues. Compliance with the model code of conduct and adherence to the law in all activities is mandatory.

“As the order cannot be individually served, it is being passed ex-parte. Any violation of this directive will result in punitive action under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code. All the persons shall ensure that they follow the model code of conduct and that all the activities are according to the law,” reads the order.

“Any violation of the order shall invite punitive action under Section 188 of Indian Penal Code,” it adds.
Hours later, Ladakh police suspended the high-speed mobile internet services and decided to temporarily reduce mobile data services in Leh.

“In view of present emergent security scenario in the U.T of Ladakh and inputs received from Superintendent of Police District Leh and other intelligence agencies, there is every apprehension of possibility misuse of Mobile Data (2G,3G,4G, 5G & Public Wi-fi Facilities of 5G) Services by anti-social elements and miscreants to incite/provoke general public through various means of social media posts which may cause and flare up Law & Order situation in the U.T of Ladakh especially in District Leh,” said an official order issued by Dr Shiv Darshan Singh-IPS, Additional Director General of Police, Head of Police, U.T Ladakh.

“Now therefore, upon consideration of the various aspects and inputs, I, Dr. being as authorized officer to exercise the powars vested under Sub rule (1) of Rule 2 of Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public emergency of Public Safety) Rule 2017, am satisfied that it is absolutely necessary to reduce the Mobile Data Services upto 2G, thereby suspending the mobile data of 3G, 4G,5G & Public Wi-fi facilities 5G temporarily in the interest of Maintenance of public Peace, Law & Order in the Union Territory of Ladakh.

“Hence, it is hereby ordered to Scale Down the Internet Speed/Mobile Data Services of 3G, 4G, 5G & Public Wi-fi facilities 5G) to 2G in Leh city (Latitude 34.149722 and longitude 77.575) within the 10 km radius w.e.f 1800 Hrs on 06-04-2024 to 1800 Hrs on 07.04.2024,” said the order.

In his reaction, Wangchuk asked why “After 31 days of extremely peaceful prayers & fasts, Suddenly peace initiatives of the administration sounds more dangerous than anything!”

Wangchuk also mentioned that the local police is restricting people coming from other villages to join the ‘peaceful’ demonstration in Leh and also apprehending the supporters of this cause ahead of ‘Pashmina March’ and forced to sign bonds.

He also added that he will be sharing an update on Friday night regarding the situation.

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