Singapore, the US, UK, UAE, Israel and Canada are among countries who have asked their citizens to exercise caution while travelling to Northeast India, citing concerns over violent protests against the amended Citizenship Amendment Act.
There have been multiple protests and clashes over the new amended citizenship law across India, which provides for granting citizenship to non-Muslim persecuted minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, with at least 4 people killed in related protests in Assam and the nation’s capital.
In parts of south Delhi, an estimated 1,000 protesters clashed with police and at least six buses and over 50 vehicles were set ablaze. In West Bengal, at least 15 railway stations and two local trains were vandalised, while an internet clampdown continued in Assam.
Protests escalated across Indian universities in New Delhi, Aligarh, Hyderabad, Benaras and Kolkata on Sunday, with Delhi Police using batons and teargas shells to disperse violent mobs on the Jamia Milia Islamia University campus, detaining up to 100 students who were released in the early hours of Monday, according to media reports.
The Delhi protests sparked off student agitations in Aligarh Muslim University, Benaras Hindu University, Maulana Azad National Urdu University in Hyderabad and Jadavpur University in Kolkata on Sunday night.
Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) issued a travel notice for Northeast India, advising Singaporeans travelling there to "exercise vigilance and caution".
"Travel conditions are difficult due to street protests and cancellation of some flight and train services. Mobile data have also been restricted in some areas," said the MFA.
Singaporeans in India are encouraged to eRegister with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The United States government has temporarily suspended official travels to Assam, the epicentre of the protests.
"US citizens in the northeastern states of India should exercise caution in light of media reports of protests and violence in response to the approval of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Government curfews are in place in some areas. Internet and mobile communications may be disrupted. Transport may be affected in various parts," the advisory read.
The US Embassy in New Delhi released precautions for its citizens staying in the northeastern states, asking them to avoid areas with "demonstrations and civil disturbances".
The United Kingdom government updated its travel advisory for India to warn its citizens against travel to the states in the Northeast.
The travel advice section of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised British nationals to exercise caution while undertaking all but essential travel to the region.
"The FCO advises against all but essential travel to the state of Manipur, except the state capital Imphal and the Meiti Valley areas, which include Loktak Lake, Keibul Lamjao National Park and the Imphal War Cemetery,” reads the updated advisory.
The UAE embassy in New Delhi tweeted a travel advisory for citizens heading to or currently in India.
The advisory notified citizens to stay alert and away from places of protests. People who need further information can contact the embassy, the tweet added.
Canada has advised avoiding "non-essential" travel to Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland due to the protests.
Israelis were warned to "completely avoid" going to Assam because of violent protests.