Anti-CAB protests: Mobile internet services suspended in Dibrugarh, Jorhat, eight other districts of Assam for 24 hours after fresh agitations

The Assam government on Wednesday suspended mobile internet and data services of all service providers for 24 hours in ten districts of Assam on Friday, fearing an escalation of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019.

Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Tinsukua, Dibrugarh, Charaideo, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Kamrup (Metro) and Kamrup are the ten districts where the data services have been suspended, according to a notification issued by the government.

A day after a total shutdown in Assam to protest against the Bill, fresh protests erupted in the state on Wednesday while the legislation was being debated in the Rajya Sabha.

To tackle the situation, the police had to fire rubber bullets and resort to lathi charge on the protesters in Dibrugarh district, police said.

A journalist was injured in stone-pelting by a mob and the police lobbed tear gas shells to disperse them near a polytechnic institute in Dibrugarh town, police said.

Though no organisation has called for a bandh on Wednesday, people have come out in large numbers in Jorhat, Golaghat, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Sivasagar, Bongaigaon, Nagaon, Sonitpur and several other districts since morning.

Tyres were burnt and logs placed on the roads and rail tracks to stop the movement of vehicles and trains across the state, officials said.

Police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse protesters to clear the roads and rail tracks near Chaulkhowa in Dibrugarh.

Rubber bullets were fired and lathi-charge was carried out against agitators at Moran in the district, police said.

Kumar Sanjay Krishna, Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of Assam, ordered the suspension of mobile internet services saying that there are probabilities of such protests intensifying. Citing reports in the electronic media, he said that “the protesters are involved in vandalism which is likely to spread and create law and order situation in the state”.

“Social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and YouTube etc, are likely to be used for spreading of rumours and also the transmission of information like pictures, videos and text that have potential to inflame passions and thus exacerbate the law and order situation,” he added in the order.

With inputs from PTI

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