Assam police registered 28 cases related to 206 "disturbing" social media posts during the widespread protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act since it was passed by the Narendra Modi government on December 11.
Assam minister and senior BJP leader, Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday told reporters here that 10 persons were arrested so far in connection with the cases, five of whom were remanded in judicial custody. Five others were granted bail. "These social media posts were not linked to the democratic protests but were provocative, inciting and carried the possibility of disturbing law and order in the state. We have no issue with people expressing their opposition to the act or any other issues. But let me say today that the government will take strict legal action against those trying to disturb communal harmony and incite people to resort to violence," Sarma said.
"Another 23 youths, who had posted such disturbing posts were called to the police stations and were allowed to go after providing counselling. They were told about the danger such act carries and the legal provisions," he said.
Most parts of Assam and rest of the Northeast erupted in protest after the Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed in the Parliament on December 11. The situation turned volatile after a section resorted to violence burning vehicles, blocking roads and pelting stones at the security forces. Sarma had earlier said that some had tried to enter and set fire in the Janata Bhawan (state secretariat). Four youths were killed by security forces here during firing to contain violent protests while two others died in attacks by protesters in Tinsukia and Darrang districts.
The state government had shut the internet as part of its steps to control the violence. The mobile internet was restored after nine days after being ordered by Gauhati high court.
Sarma said 393 persons had been arrested so far in connection with 244 cases related to the violent protests.