"Internet is back" -- this was a common status of many users on social media platforms as mobile data services were restored across Assam on Friday, ending a nearly 10-day internet drought in the state.
From students to professionals, teenagers to adults, people heaved a sigh of relief, and many took to Facebook and Twitter to express their sentiments and opinions
While most were just relieved to see the mobile internet connection back in their phones, many Twitter users also thanked the lawyers associated with the case after PILs were filed in the Gauhati High Court challenging the suspension of internet services in the state.
Internet services were suspended in Guwahati in Kamrup (Metro) and several other districts on December 11 evening to prevent misuse of social media in disturbing peace and tranquility as well as to maintain law and order.
The services were restored on Friday even as protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) continued in the state.
"After 9 days, finally government has resumed mobile Internet Services in Assam as per high court's order," wrote Nabajyoti Lahkar, a user on Twitter and signed off with 'Jai Ai Axom' -- the rallying cry of the anti-CAA movement.
Chinmoy Deka, a student of B Borooah College in Guwahati, was relieved to use his smartphone after nine days.
"The moment I turned on internet on my phone, dings of Facebook and WhatsApp notifications on my phone kept making the jangling noise. I had several thousands notifications on WhatsApp. It just kept pouring in," he told PTI.
Deka, who opposed the CAA and had joined protests earlier, said with internet restored, many people also resorted to making and sharing memes mocking leaders of the central and state governments who have been supporting the law.
"On WhatsApp and Facebook, many kept their status as 'Internet is back', in English, Assamese or both. Some used sarcastic remarks to criticise the government over the internet services suspension," he said.
Several social media users also thanked the lawyers associated with the case heard by the GHC after public interest litigations were filed to challenge the suspension of internet services.
The Gauhati High Court had earlier directed the Assam government to restore mobile internet services at 5 pm on Thursday.
A division bench of Justices Manojit Bhuyan and Saumitra Saikia gave the direction after hearing four PILs filed by journalist Ajit Kumar Bhuyan, advocates Bonoshri Gogoi, Randeep Sharma and Debakanta Doley.
While many took to social media to express their views on the anti-CAA agitation, Assam Police asked people to be cautious in posting anything on such platforms.
"Mobile Internet services have been restored in the state. We request citizens to be cautious while posting or sharing unverified/provocative information on Social Media.
"We are looking forward to your continued support in ensuring peace & harmony in the State," Assam Police tweeted.