- NL Sena
Amidst intensifying protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Assam, the state government on Wednesday snapped mobile internet services for 24 hours. The ban, which came into effect at 7 pm, covers 10 of the state’s 33 districts as well as the capital Guwahati.
A circular issued by the government said it decided to cut mobile internet because it feared that “social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and YouTube are likely to be used for spreading of rumours and for transmission of information like pictures, videos and text that have the potential to inflame passions and, thus, exacerbate the law and order situation.”
The ban was announced as the Bill was being debated in the Rajya Sabha. There’s a possibility it might pass and become law. The Bill has already cleared the Lok Sabha.
All 10 districts deprived of mobile internet are in the Brahmaputra Valley. They are Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Charaideo, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Kamrup Metro, and Kamrup. The Brahmaputra Valleyhas seen the most intense of the protests against the Citizenship Bill over the last few days.
The circular came a day after rumours started circulating on social media of an imminent internet blackout.
Assam is the second state in the Northeast to go without mobile internet. In Tripura, mobile internet was cut, for a period of 48 hours, on Tuesday when protests erupted against the Citizenship Bill.