GUWAHATI (AFP) - Washington and London issued travel warnings for northeast India as opponents of a new citizenship law geared up for more protests Saturday, following days of clashes that saw two people killed and dozens injured.
Many in the far-flung, resource-rich region fear the new legislation will grant citizenship to large numbers of immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, who they accuse of stealing jobs and diluting the region s cultural identity.
No major incidents were reported overnight in Guwahati in Assam state, the epicentre of the protests, where two were shot dead and 26 hospitalised this week after security forces fired blank and live rounds, medical staff said.
The funeral procession of 18-year-old Sam Stafford, who was killed in the firing, took place on Friday and was attended by hundreds of angry and distraught mourners who shouted "Long live Assam" in Dispur, the state capital adjoining Guwahati.
"We were watching news all day on TV about the protests when my nephew left home in the evening. We asked him not to go but he went with his friends," the student s aunt Julie Stafford told AFP.
Authorities announced a curfew in place in Guwahati would be lifted from 9am to 4pm Saturday.
But some protest groups said they planned to defy the curfew with more demonstrations planned for the afternoon and evening.
Samujjal Bhattacharya from the All Assam Students Union, which has been at the forefront of the protests, told AFP the group would continue its fight against the new law "in the streets and in the court".