The US, the UK, France, and Israel issued travel advisories for their citizens travelling to northeastern parts of India, asking them either not to travel to the region or to exercise caution when doing so. This comes in the wake of violent protests happening in Assam, Tripura against the Citizenship Act passed by the Parliament.
“Government curfews are in place in some areas. Internet and mobile communications may be disrupted. Transport may be affected in various parts of the region. Protests have also been reported in other parts of the country,” the advisory said, noting the US government has “temporarily suspended official travel to Assam”.
The US posted the advisory on the website of its mission in New Delhi, asking American citizens in the northeastern states to exercise caution.
Demonstrations against the Citizenship Amendment Act 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,” the United Kingdom’s advisory read, adding that transport may also be affected in various parts of the region.
If there is a need for essential travel, potential travellers should monitor the local media for the latest information, follow instructions provided by local authorities and “allow more time for travel”, it added.
The Israeli government, in its advisory, asked its citizens not to travel to Assam and to cut short visits to other states of the northeast.
The French foreign ministry’s advisory alerted French citizens to “general strikes, demonstrations and scuffles with the policies in several cities in the states of Assam and Tripura”. Adding that the transport to Assam was suspended and travellers should “stay away from any gathering, regularly follow the news and to respect the orders of the Indian authorities (curfew in particular)”.
Protests against the new Citizenship law showed signs of ebbing in Assam and elsewhere in the northeast on Friday (December 13) with relaxation of curfew but parts of neighbouring West Bengal were in throes of violence as agitator’s vandalised public property and clashed with police. Curfew was relaxed in Assam’s Dibrugarh and Meghalaya capital Shillong, but the ripple effect of anger over the hugely divisive law was felt in West Bengal where Beldanga railway station complex was set ablaze in Murshidabad district and RPF personnel were assaulted.
(With input from agencies.)