India: Internet ban in Tripura after protests erupt against ‘Anti-Muslim’ bill

Tripura administration has shut down internet service for 48 hours in wake of protests against the against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which has been passed by the Lok Sabha.

“It has been reported by Director General of Police, Tripura that rumours are being mongered about ethnic clashes between tribal and non-tribal in Manu and Kanchanpur areas. This has created violent situation in the area. It has been noticed that SMS, WhatsApp and social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are being used for transmission of fake images and videos as well as text messages which have potential to incite violence in the State at a larger rate,” Tripura government said in a letter.

In view of the situation, the state government said that it is prohibiting use of SMS and mobile data for 48 hours, beginning 2pm on Tuesday. This shall be applicable for press messages also, the letter read.

Normal life has been hit in Tripura following statewide indefinite bandh called by tribal parties and organisations against the Bill. Most government schools, offices, banks and financial institutions in the council areas remained closed and vehicles were off the roads on Monday.

Other states in the North East are also facing similar protests. Huge processions were taken out in different areas of Guwahati, with protesters raising slogans against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Agitators engaged in a scuffle with security forces near the Secretariat and Assembly buildings in Guwahati, when they were prevented from moving forward, police sources said. Train services across Assam were affected as picketers blocked the tracks, a spokesperson of the Railways said.

In Maligaon area of the city, a government-run bus was pelted with stones and a scooter set on fire, sources said. Shops, markets and business establishments kept shutters down, while educational and financial institutions remained closed for the day, the official sources stated.