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11 Dec 2019 | 05:05 AM UTC

India: Fresh anti-CAB protests reported in Assam December 11 /update 2

Fresh protests opposing the citizenship bill reported in Assam on December 11; heightened security presence and transportation disruptions reported

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IND

Event

As of Wednesday, December 11, fresh protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) were reported in several locations across Assam state, including in the Jorhat, Golaghat, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Sivasagar, Bongaigaon, Nagaon, and Sonitpur districts.

Protesters reportedly set up fires and roadblocks on rails and roads, causing significant transportation disruptions. Clashes between police and protesters broke out in several locations, including in front of the Assam Secretariat in Guhawati, where police reportedly fired tear gas and rubber bullets.

In Tripura, authorities suspended internet services for 48 hours at around 14:00 on Tuesday, December 10.

A heightened security presence and localized telecoms, transportation, and business disruptions are expected across Assam state. Further protests are likely; clashes between protesters and police cannot be ruled out.

Context

The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), which seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, was originally introduced in 2016. It was tabled, however, due to widespread protests denouncing the legislation. Opponents claim the legislation is in violation of the constitution, which prohibits religious discrimination against citizens.

Protests took place on December 9 in several cities, causing significant business and transportation disruptions. The Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) passed the CAB legislation on December 9, while the Rajya Sabha (upper house of parliament) is still due to vote on the bill.

Advice

Individuals in Assam are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations, prepare for transportation disruptions around protest sites, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.