With protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act refusing to ebb, the Russian government on Thursday advised its citizens who are in India or planning to visit the country to be “vigilant, cautious, avoid crowds and refrain from visiting areas controlled by protesters”.
Last week, several countries including the UK, the US, France, Israel, Canada and Singapore, had asked their citizens to exercise caution while travelling to the Northeastern states in India, which have been witnessing violent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia said on Twitter, “Russian nationals currently in India or planning to visit the country soon are advised to be vigilant and cautious, avoid crowds and refrain from visiting areas controlled by protesters. Follow our updates.”
The advisory comes on a day when massive protests were witnessed across the country including the national capital. Curfews were imposed in several areas of Delhi and at least 10 others states.
The United States had earlier issued a travel advisory for its citizens to “exercise caution” while travelling to the states in North East India and added that the US government has “temporarily suspended official travel” to Assam amid violent protests.
The US Embassy has also listed out precautions for its citizens currently staying in the northeastern states advising them to avoid areas with demonstrations and civil disturbances and to keep a “low profile”.
“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 of the region. Protests have also been reported in other parts of the country. The U.S. government has temporarily suspended official travel to Assam,” the statement read.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in a statement had asked its citizens to exercise caution if they were planning to travel in North East India, monitor local media for the latest information, follow instructions of the local authorities and allow more time for travel.
The French foreign ministry had asked travellers to “stay away from any gathering, regularly follow the news and to respect the orders of the Indian authorities.
The Israeli government also asked its citizens not to travel to Assam and to cut short visits to the region.
Canada too asked its citizens to “exercise caution” and advised them to “check with their airline or tour operator to determine if the situation will affect their travel plans”.
Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) last week issued a travel notice for Northeast India, advising Singaporeans travelling there to “exercise vigilance and caution”.
Protests against CAA that were earlier confined to the northeast, have swept the country over the past week after several protesters, including students clashed with the police in Delhi’s Jamia Milia Islamia on December 15.
According to the Act, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
The new law relaxes the requirement of residence in India from 11 years to six years for these migrants.