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Association for hearing, speech-impaired in Assam files complaint with rights panel over internet shutdown

In its complaint to AHRC, the Assam Association of the Deaf alleged that the suspension of internet services 'violates rights of people' from the deaf community and others.

Published: 20th December 2019 09:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th December 2019 09:01 AM   |  A+A-

Army personnel guard in a market at Chauba which witnessed several an Anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in Dibrugarh district of Assam Tuesday Dec. 17 2019. (Photo | PTI)

Army personnel guard in a market at Chauba which witnessed several an Anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in Dibrugarh district of Assam Tuesday Dec. 17 2019. (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

GUWAHATI: A Guwahati-based NGO working for the hearing and speech-impaired community on Thursday filed a complaint with the Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC), alleging that mobile internet suspension in the wake of protests against the amended citizenship law "violates" rights of people, its senior official said.

"We the people from the deaf and mute community use video calling over phones for communicating with each other, as we use sign language. The mobile internet suspension has caused great problems for us in communicating," the official said.

"So, we (NGO) filed a complaint with the AHRC today," he said.

In its complaint to AHRC, the Assam Association of the Deaf alleged that the suspension of internet services "violates rights of people" from the deaf community and others.

The government had suspended internet services on December 11 evening to check the spread of rumours and to maintain law and order in the wake of violent protests that erupted in Guwahati and other parts of Assam over the Citizenship Amendment Bill, now an Act (CAA).

"We have been protesting against the CAA, and our community also demands that it be revoked. We (NGO) are also one of the petitioners who have filed pleas in the Supreme Court against the CAA. And, on December 22, we have planned a protest in Guwahati," the official told PTI.

Members of the hearing and speech-impaired community had on Wednesday participated in a massive protest led by All Assam Students' Union (AASU) at Latasil playground, as people of Assam reaffirmed their resolve to counter the legislation with unrelenting spirit.

Among them was Miss India Deaf 2016, Anjala Lahon, who intently looked at the sign language interpreter helping them, and waved her hand whenever people cried 'Jai Ai Ahom' (Salute Mother Assam).

The Assam government on Thursday said mobile internet services in the state will be restored from Friday.

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