New Delhi: Owing to the raging clashes and violent protests in the Northeast against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) that was passed in the Lok Sabha at midnight, Government of Tripura on Tuesday suspended mobile internet and SMS services in the state for 48 hours, starting from 2 PM.
Apprehending communal tension in the state, Tripura’s government administration issued a statement following “rumours” of ethnic clashes between tribal and non-tribal communities in Manu and Kanchanpur areas in the state, allegedly ensuing violence in the area.
“It has been noticed that SMS, WhatsApp and social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are being used for transmission of fake images and videos as well as text messages which have potential to incite violence in the State at a larger rate,” stated Tripura government in its letter.
Notably, the agitating groups have remained firm on their demand for withdrawing the Citizenship Bill, despite exemptions to execute the proposed legislation on citizenship in the Autonomous District Council areas and regions under the Inner Line Permit (ILP). Protestors have claimed the exemptions would not be able to check infiltrations or protect the demographic positions of the indigenous people of the northeast region.
Day to day life has been cramped in the northeastern states after Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday tabled the contentious legislation in the lower house of the Parliament. Train services were shut as agitators blocked the railway tracks. All vehicles except security forces stayed off the roads owing to a region-wide bandh.
In Maligaon district of Assam, a state-run bus was stone-pelted and another scooter was set on fire; while angry students in Guwahati staged a protest on the streets. Meanwhile, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the North East Students’ Organisation (NESU) also called an 11-hour shutdown in the region.
After day-long debates over the citizenship bill, Lok Sabha finally passed the legislation with 311 votes in its favour and 80 against it. The Bill now seeks to be moved in the Rajya Sabha to cross its final hurdle before becoming a law to provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.