Mobile internet services in Assam, suspended since Dec 11 over citizenship law protests, restored
Authorities in Assam on Friday lifted the ban on mobile internet services across the state which was put in place more than a week ago following violent protests against the citizenship law.
A senior official of private telecom operator Airtel told news agency PTI that the ban was lifted from 9 am on Friday. “As we did not received any fresh order to continue with the blackout, we have lifted the ban from 9 am,” he said.
Addressing a press conference on Friday, chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that there was not threat to the language and identity of the Assamese people. “I want to assure people that no one can steal rights of the sons of the soil of Assam, there is no threat to our language or our identity,” news agency ANI reported him as saying.
Mobile internet services were banned on December 11 in select districts as violence raged in the state against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the ban was subsequently extended to all of Assam.
Protests against CAA had continued on Thursday and mobile internet services remained blocked throughout the state, even as the Gauhati High Court directed the state government to lift the curbs.
A bench of justice Manojit Bhuyan and justice Saumitra Saikia had directed that mobile internet services should be restored even as it said that the state government was free to “take steps to curb and stop dissemination of explosive messages and videos on various social media platforms which may have a tendency to incite violence…”
Assam has been protesting against CAA as several groups fear that the newly-amended law would lead to an influx of migrants into the state thus disrupting its ethnic fabric.
This has been at the centre of a decades-long agitation that was resolved in the 1980s.