Following the violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA), Assam Police have been closely monitoring social media to thwart any attempts of inciting communal hatred and has registered 28 cases in this regard, State Finance Minister Himanta Biswa said.
Speaking to reporters on December 23rd, Sarma said, “We have taken action against 206 social media accounts and pages. 28 cases have also been registered for using social media to incite hatred and disharmony in society. 25 posts were made from abroad.”
He added, “Ten persons were arrested in relation to posting or sharing objectional posts on social media. Out of which, five were released on bail and five went sent to jail.”
Violent protests broke out in several parts of the country after the citizenship law was passed in parliament on December 11th, 2019. Four people have been killed in police firing in Assam, while an oil tanker driver was charred to death when his vehicle was set on fire in Orang.
Sarma said that police is keeping a tab on social media deeply and minutely to prevent any rumour-mongering. “We are monitoring social media. Till now, 393 persons have been arrested and 244 cases have been registered. The government will take strict action against people found guilty of spreading fake news,” the minister said.
He also alleged that a section is spreading rumours in the tea belt of the state. “A section of people with a vested interest are trying to create tension and chaos in the tea gardens of Assam. They are claiming that illegal Bangladeshis will be settled in those lands,” he said.
Earlier, Sarma had alleged the Congress and an intellectual working at a Central government institution for “designing a deadliest attack” to demolish Guwahati city during the recent street violence over CAA. “The president of the Assam Pradesh Youth Congress had gone live on Facebook as the fire was raging near the Janata Bhawan,” he said.
As the Rajya Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on December 11th, 2019, massive protests broke out in the state. The streets of the state turned into a veritable battle zone littered with burnt tyres, logs, stones, rubber pellets and teargas shells as seething protesters descended on the streets opposing the Bill.
The internet services were snapped at 7 pm on December 11th, 2019 due to violence during anti-CAA protests. Post the restoration of mobile internet data services on December 20th, 2019, the Assam police had urged people to be cautious while posting or sharing information on social media.
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