Beware of fake news on social media: Army issues advisory on Northeast unrest

Amid protests in the northeastern states over the Citizenship Act, 2019, the Indian Army has issued an advisory cautionary people to be aware of fake news and false information being spread on social media by some people against Army's action in the northeast.

Beware of fake news on social media: Army issues advisory on Northeast unrest

GUWAHATI: Amid protests in the northeastern states over the Citizenship Act, 2019, the Indian Army has issued an advisory cautionary people to be aware of fake news and false information being spread on social media by some people against Army's action in the northeast.

"'Avoid lies and propaganda. False news and propaganda is being spread on social media by some harmful elements. Avoid false rumors, do not listen to false news, nor pay attention to it. Indian Army - Army of the Country, said Indian Army's official Twitter handle. The Army also tweeted a collage of several tweets and posts circulating on social media against its action and flagged them as fake news.

To control the deteriorating law and order situation over the Citizenship Act, eight columns of the Indian Army were on Thursday deployed to Assam and each column of the force comprises around 70 personnel. The Army was called out on Wednesday as protestors turned violent.

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"Till now, a total of eight columns have been requisitioned which include one in Bongaigaon, one in Morigaon, four columns in Guwahati and two in Sonitpur," Defence Public Relation Officer Lt Col P Khongsai said.

At least four people have died since Monday during the anti-Citizenship Act protests across Assam. The casualties were reported from Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, and Guwahati. Owing to the situation, all schools and colleges in the state have been shut till December 22. 

The curfew imposed in the wake of the protest has been relaxed here from 9 am to 4 pm by the administration on Saturday.

Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal blamed the Congress and "communal forces" for the widespread violence in the state over the last few days, and said stern action will be taken against those involved in arson and vandalism during the anti-citizenship bill protests. The CM also assured the people of the state not to worry about the amended Citizenship Act, saying that the traditional culture, language, political and land rights will be protected by implementing Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019, was passed by both Houses of the Parliament earlier this week. It became an Act on Thursday after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent. The law came into effect after its publication in the official gazette late on Thursday night. 

The Citizenship Act allows six immigrant communities, barring Muslims, from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh for Indian citizenship. Protesters have expressed concerns that refugees allowed by the Act could endanger the identity and livelihood of indigenous people.