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Close watch on social media activities; "actions against those spewing venom" Himanta Biswa Sarma

Finance, PWD and Health minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday briefed the press about law and order situation in the State. He said, in a democratic country like India, each and everyone has the right to protest peacefully. However, he added that the government has kept a close watch on various social media activities and “actions will be taken against those spewing venom, against posts that could result in violent activities.”

Sarma informed that, so far, 206 Social Media posts have been identified and 28 cases have been registered. Based on which, 10 individuals were arrested out of which 5 got bail and the remaining five have been sent to judicial custody. 21 individuals were brought to the Police station for positing objectionable posts on social media. Police decided to release them after counseling them in front of their parents.

“Exercise your right to speech and expression. If you oppose CAB, write against it, write against the chief minister, write against Himanta Biswa Sarma there is no problem. But, posting something provocative with intentions of causing violence is not an exercise of freedom of expression and speech it is an offense,” said Sarma.

Assam Government’s team in association with Facebook and Twitter India managed to delete 58 posts which the authority deemed to be provocatory in nature.

What came as a shocking revelation in Sarma’s briefing is the fact that 25 provocatory posts about Assam were generated from outside the state and few were traced in Dubai and other parts in UAE. “The investigation is going on. We don’t know exactly how many posts were from outside India. So far, we have managed to trace the origin of three posts, one was posted from Dubai and the other two were from other parts of UAE,” said Sarma.

Apart from Social Media offenses, so far 393 people have been arrested in Assam against 244 filed cases.

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