The Punjab government extended the suspension of mobile internet and SMS services till Tuesday noon even as the hunt for the Khalistan sympathizer Amritpal Singh continued for the third day.
The state authorities had on Saturday suspended the internet and SMS services in the state till Sunday noon. Later, the curbs were extended till Monday noon.
According to the latest order of the Home Affairs department and Justice on Monday, "..it is directed that all mobile internet services (2G/3G/45/5G/CDMA/GPRS), all SMS services (excluding banking and mobile recharge) and all dongle services provided on mobile networks, except the voice calls, in the territorial jurisdiction of Punjab shall be further suspended from March 20 (12.00 hours) to March 21 (12.00 hours) in the interest of public safety, to prevent any incitement to violence and to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order."
The broadband services are not being suspended so that banking facilities, hospital services and other essential services are not disrupted, said the order issued by the additional chief secretary of the home department.
Punjab govt's crackdown on Khalistani extremism
The Punjab government had on Saturday launched a major crackdown against Amritpal, with police arresting 78 members of an outfit headed by him, officials said. Security has been beefed up in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Police are on their feet to nab the Khalistan preacher as he has been avoiding arrests for more than 24 hours.
Police on Saturday launched a "massive state-wide cordon and search operations (CASO)" in the state against the members of the 'Waris Punjab De' group, headed by Singh, against whom several criminal cases have been registered.