Internet, SMS services suspended in Tripura amid protests against Citizenship Amendment Bill

Tripura: The Tripura government on Tuesday (December 10) issued a notice to suspend internet and SMS services in the state following violent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019. 

The notice was issued after the Director-General of Police received reports about rumours being spread about ethnic clashes between tribal and non-tribals in Manu and Kanchanpur area. The state government’s notice has been issued as agitators are trying to incite people in the area by circulating messages and fake images via SMS, Whatsaap and other social media platforms. 

According to the government statement, the internet and SMS services are being suspended to avoid any law and order disturbance in the state.  

The government notice stated, ”In order to prevent the misuse of the above mention media to disturb the peace and tranquillity of the entire State and for maintaining the law and order situation, I Shri A.K Bhallacharya, Additional Secretary to the Government of Tripura, Home Department is hereby direct to promulgate this notification under the provision of Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, to prohibit the following types of media for the next 48 hours.” 

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Earlier in the day, the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) staged a massive protest in Assam against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019, which was passed in Lok Sabha on November 9. The protestors also pelted stones on the convoy of Assam Education Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya.  

In another incident, OC of Chabua Police station was injured and two vehicles of security forces were damaged by the protesters. Stones were pelted on a CRPF vehicle which was parked on NH37.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, was passed with 311 MPs voting in its favour and 80 against. Union Home Minister Amit Shah gave a detailed explanation after the bill was tabled for discussion in the Lok Sabha.

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