Amid the violent protests in the northeastern states over the Citizenship Act, several countries on Friday issued travel advisories to its citizens cautioning them from visiting those states. The travel advisories have been issued by the UK, France and Israel.
The protests over the Act rocked Assam even as tension gripped Tripura and Meghalaya despite assurances by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah that the Bill will not harm the interests of the people of the northeast. The Act will give Indian citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Zorastrian communities fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. The Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019, was passed in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday (December 11) with 125 votes in favour and 99 against it. Earlier the Bill was passed in Lok Sabha with a thumping majority on December 9.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry urged its citizens to refrain from going to Assam because of the violent riots that caused disruptions in flights and suspension of the internet. It further asked its citizens to minimize their stay in the rest of the northeast region including Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh. The Israeli citizens currently in Assam have been asked to follow the official guidelines of the local police and contact the Israeli embassy in New Delhi.
The UK asked its citizens to exercise caution if they are planning to travel to northeastern India, monitor the local media for the latest information, follow instructions of the local authorities and allow more time for travel.
France also alerted its citizens recommending them to stay away from any gathering, to regularly follow the news and to respect the rules of the Indian authorities (curfew in particular).
In Assam, the internet services were snapped in several places and the suspension has been extended in for 48 hours beginning Thursday noon, said Additional Chief Secretary (Home and Political), Kumar Sanjay Krishna. An indefinite curfew has also been imposed in Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Barpeta, Nalbari, Jorhat, Golaghat, Sonitpur, Tezpur and Biswanath. All schools and colleges have been closed till December 22, 2019. Four people have lost their lives due to the violence since Monday (December 9).