The Assam government has warned its employees of disciplinary action against those “indulging and participating in political activities” on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram, The Telegraph reported.

This came amid nationwide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.Five people have died in Assam, which was the initial epicentre of the protests, when the police opened fire on protestors on December 17.

The elementary education department issued the order on Tuesday prohibiting government employees, including contractual workers, from taking part in political activities. It said this is in violation of the provision of Assam Service (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1964, adding the department had formed a cell to monitor “such prohibited activities”.

The order was issued two days after state minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had said the government has no problem with people protesting in a democratic way or raising their views on social media against the amended citizenship law. He added that the government was only against those who post “provocative” things on social media, which can disrupt social harmony.

Protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens have engulfed India in the past two weeks. The protests saw peaceful marches as well as intense clashes between the police and the demonstrators. At least 24 people have died so far, including 17 in Uttar Pradesh alone.