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03 Dec 2019 | 09:03 PM UTC

India: Students protest citizenship bill in Assam state December 3 /update 6

Civil society groups protest the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in Assam state on December 3; further demonstrations likely

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Event

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and several indigenous organizations held protests across Assam state on Tuesday, December 3, in opposition to the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB). Opponents of the bill drove motorcycles and bicycles across the state, demanding that the CAB be withdrawn from parliament. Students at Dibrugarh University also held a rally against the legislation.

Further disruptive protests are anticipated over the coming weeks as lawmakers debate the CAB during the winter parliament session. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are anticipated around all protest sites.

Context

Demonstrations opposing the CAB have been held in Assam since the Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament, passed a bill on January 8 that would grant citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Parsis, Sikhs, and other members of non-Muslim religious groups who have immigrated to India from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan in the past six years, regardless of immigration status. It also follows shortly after a July 2018 census announcement by the Registrar General of India that excluded 4 million Muslims in Assam state that were unable to provide citizenship documents to prove they had lived in India before 1971.

Advice

Individuals in Assam state are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, avoid discussing sensitive political topics in public, and obey all instructions issued by the local authorities.