The Tripura government on Tuesday banned mobile internet and SMS services in the state, citing a threat to the law and order situation amid protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. The Lok Sabha passed the bill earlier on Tuesday. The internet ban began at 3 pm on Tuesday and will continue for 48 hours, a government order said.
State Additional Secretary Saradindu Chaudhuri said Director General of Police Akhil Kumar Shukla had informed the government that incidents of rioting took place in some areas under Jirania police station in West Tripura district, and photographs of these events were being uploaded on social media. Chaudhuri said social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WhatsApp could be used to spread fake news and incite violence.
The government said the ban will also apply to messages from the press also.
The North East Students’ Organisation, an umbrella organisation of students’ unions, had supported the call for a shutdown. The Twipra Students’ Federation, a partner body of the North East Students’ Federation, blocked roads in several parts of West Tripura district, The Indian Express reported. North East Stuidents’ Organization workers also blockaded the National Highway 8 at Dasharampara in the Jirania sub-division, a police officer said.
Earlier in the day, the police opened fire on protestors in Khumulwng, the headquarters of the autonomous district council, leading to injuries to five people. The incident took place after some people set shops ablaze. The police fired four rounds at the demonstrators, injuring five of them.