Protesters burned tires and blocked highways and rail tracks in India's remote northeast for a second day Wednesday before the upper house of India’s Parliament debates legislation that would grant citizenship to persecuted Hindus and other religious minorities from Muslim-majority Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The bill was approved Monday in the powerful lower house, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government enjoys majority support. But the support of smaller regional political groups in the upper house will be needed for the bill to be approved and become law.
The Press Trust of India news agency reported the police fired rubber bullets and used batons and tear gas to disperse protesters in Dibrugarh district in Assam state on Wednesday. Streets protests were also reported from Gauhati, the state capital.
The protesters had organized an 11-hour shutdown on Tuesday saying they oppose the bill out of concern that more migrants who immigrated to the country illegally will move to the border region and dilute the culture and political sway of indigenous tribal people.