December 15, 2019
With protests against the new Citizenship Act continuing in the northeast, the United States and United Kingdom have issued travel advisories asking their citizens to “exercise caution” while travelling to the region for any purpose.
“Demonstrations against the Citizenship Amendment Bill are taking place in some parts of the country. There have been reports of violent protest in Northeast India, especially in Assam and Tripura. An indefinite curfew has been imposed in Guwahati and mobile internet services have been suspended in 10 districts of Assam,” said the United Kingdom’s advisory.
The advisory also said that if there is a need for essential travel, travellers should check the local media for the latest information, follow instructions provided by local authorities and “allow more time for travel”.
The US advisory was on the same lines. It has also temporarily suspended official travel to Assam.
Violent protests broke out across the Northeast even as the ruling BJP pushed the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill through Parliament earlier this week. Guwahati is the worst affected. The amended law has been called unconstitutional and discriminatory by opposition leaders and rights workers.
Two Bangladeshi ministers have cancelled visits to India at the last moment and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has postponed his scheduled summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Guwahati next week. The United Nations has also called the new citizenship law “fundamentally discriminatory in nature”.
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