Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering cancelling his visit to India scheduled for December 15 and 16 amid violent protests in the northeast over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Japan’s Jiji Press has reported.
The venue for the summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Abe is Guwahati in Assam, which was the epicentre of protests against the citizenship Act.
The Ministry of External Affairs had earlier on Thursday said that it does not have any clarity on the fate of the Modi-Abe meet in Guwahati.
On being asked if the Government is contemplating shifting the venue out of Guwahati, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “I am not in a position to clarify on it. I have no updates to offer.”
A Japanese team had visited Guwahati on Wednesday to take stock of the preparations, news agency PTI reported, quoting sources.
Last week, Kumar had announced that the summit between PM Modi and Shinzo Abe would take place between December 15 and 17.
Ahead of the scheduled summit, India and Japan held their inaugural 2+2 defence and foreign minister-level dialogue on November 30 which focussed on cooperation in building a free and open Indo-Pacific in view of China’s growing footprint.
Ahead of the talks, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defence Minister Taro Kono met Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The passing of the Citizenship Bill in the Parliament has plunged the northeast, especially the state of Assam, into deep chaos with locals and students hitting the streets in thousands, burning tyres and wooden logs prompting the administration to impose curfew in Guwahati and suspend mobile internet services in 10 districts of the state.
Army and paramilitary forces have been deployed in the region to bring the situation under control.
Two protesters were killed and many others injured in police firing in Assam’s Guwahati amid a flaring agitation.
Meanwhile, earlier on Thursday, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen had informed that he has cancelled his visit to India scheduled from December 12-14.
Soon after, the country’s Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, who was scheduled to visit Meghalaya for an event today, also called off his trip.