28 cases against offensive social media posts during anti-CAA protests in Assam

Keeping a close watch on social media over the recent agitation in the state over Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, the Assam government has registered 28 police cases for offence and provocative posts during the anti-CAA protests earlier this month.

Addressing a press conference in Guwahati on December 23, senior Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “We have been monitoring the social media since December 9. We have detected 206 social media posts that fuelled rumour and led to law and order problems.”

“Twenty eight cases against offensive and provocative social media posts have been registered so far. These posts were only inciting violence and had nothing to do with the peaceful agitations,” he added.

Altogether 10 arrests have been made so far, of which five were released immediately on bail and the rest are in judicial custody.

Moreover, 21 people were summoned to the police stations and were let off after counselling against making such social media posts.

The police have also managed to get 58 inflammatory posts deleted, the minister said, adding that out of the identified offensive posts, 25 had originated outside the state or country, with three being traced to Dubai and process on to trace the others.

Sarma further said altogether 244 cases have been registered and 393 people arrested, including the social media offences related cases and arrests, in connection with the violence during the anti-CAA protests in the state since December 10.

Internet services were suspended in the state for 10 days during the peak of the anti-CAA protests from December 11.

Pointing to rumour-mongering in tea garden areas that excess land in the tea estates will be used to settle the Bangladeshi Hindus under the CAA, the minister clarified that there was no such plan of the government.

“The estimated 5 lakh plus people who will be benefitted by the CAA in the state are already settled in our midst, and some had even applied for NRC inclusion using their present addresses,” he said.

Sarma warned against spreading of such rumours in the tea garden areas as it could lead to communal tension, and said those found guilty of such acts will not be spared.

Assam has been in grips of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, that seeks to grant Indian citizenship to illegal Hindu, Parsi, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist and Christian migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, who had entered India before December 31, 2014, without any documents.

People of Northeast states, especially Assam and Tripura, are demanding its revocation as they fear being ‘overrun’ by non-Muslims from neighbouring Bangladesh.

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