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India Protest Alert

Updated on 16 December 2019

The Situation:

India’s parliament approved the Citizenship Amendment Bill on 11 December, which will now allow citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians who illegally migrated to India from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. However, the bill will prevent Muslim migrants from neighboring countries from receiving citizenship.

As of Monday, December 16, additional student protests denouncing the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) have been reported in campuses nationwide, including in Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pondicherry, Lucknow and Delhi.

Violent protests continue to be reported across West Bengal, where protesters reportedly set fire to tires, staged sit-ins on highways and railway tracks, and torched trains and buses, causing significant transportation disruptions through the state.

The suspension of internet services and telecommunications have been extended through at least Tuesday, December 17, in West Bengal, Assam, and Meghalaya.

In Kerala, a state-wide mass protest, declared as illegal by state police authorities, has been called on Tuesday, December 17.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal political party has also called for a nationwide general strike on Saturday, December 21.

A heightened security presence and localized telecommunications, transportation, and business disruptions are to be expected in all affected areas over the coming hours and days. Further protests are likely, including in other cities and states across India; clashes between protesters and police cannot be ruled out.

Possible Effects:

  • Blocked roads due to protests

  • Increased traffic, especially near city centers and government buildings

  • Protests and demonstrations, which can attract unwanted attention

  • Limited transportation services, especially throughout major cities

  • Increased presence of security personnel, such as local police

  • Sudden, localized disruptions in telecommunications services

Mitigating Factors to Apply:

  • Avoid all protests and large crowds, which have the possibility of turning violent

  • Allow extra time to travel

  • Prepare for disruptions caused by public transportation strikes and protests

  • Avoid traveling through city centers, instead utilizing bypasses

  • Monitor local and social media for updates

  • Enroll in a Safe Traveler program from your preferred embassy to receive warnings

DISCLAIMER and Hold Harmless

Disclaimer: LSDS® gathers information from multiple sources and offers insight and perspective to travelers. Sources cannot be validated for accuracy in every instance. Travelers assume all risk associated with their travel and are responsible for the decisions associated with travel and for their own safety. Users of this reference document agree, to hold harmless LSDS® (LLC) its employees and clients associated with any risk or injury incurred during travel.


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