A shutdown strike organized by Pro-Dalit groups is scheduled to take place in Punjab state on Saturday, October 10. The strike is being held to denounce the recent rape and murder of a woman in Hathras (Uttar Pradesh state). Disruptions are likely to affect Punjab's Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Nawanshahr, and Hoshiarpur districts.
A heightened security presence and localized travel disruptions should be anticipated in the vicinity of the protest. Associated demonstrations may also take place in urban centers nationwide over the coming days. Clashes between local police forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.
A 19-year-old Dalit woman was attacked and raped by four men of a higher caste in Hathras on September 14 and died in hospital following the attack. The incident has sparked anger amongst the Dalit community who claim they are denied equal protection under the law. Protests have been witnessed in cities across India, including Delhi, Hathras, and Kolkata.
Those in Punjab are advised to monitor developments, avoid protests and demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate a heightened security presence and localized business and transportation disruptions, and obey all instructions issued by local authorities.