The state government of Tripura has imposed a 48-hour shut down on mobile SMS and internet services to prevent any untoward incident with rumours of communal tensions between tribal and non-tribal doing the rounds.
A notice issued by the Home department, government of Tripura stated that the rumours of ethnic clash at Manu and Kanchanpur areas have created a volatile situation in the area. The 48-hour shutdown will be effective from 2 pm on December 10 in the entire state of Tripura, it said.
It has been noticed that SMS, WhatsApp and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are being widely used for transmission of fake images and videos as well as text messages. The false information being spread around has the potential to incite violence in the state to a large extent, it added.
In order to maintain the law and order situation, additional secretary to the government of Tripura, Home department, AK Bhattacharya issued the shutdown under the provision of Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, to prohibit the SMS and Mobile internet data services.
The prohibition shall be applicable to press messages as well, it further said. Any form of violation will be punishable under Section 188 IPC and also under the relevant provision of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and the temporary suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency of Public Safety) Rules, 2017, it added.