Sat, 13 Aug 2022

New Delhi [India], July 6 (ANI): India expressed its condolences to the families of people who lost their lives in the recent protest that erupted in Uzbekistan's autonomous province of Karakalpakstan.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that India is following the proposed constitutional reforms in Uzbekistan, including the recent event that took place in Karakalpakstan.

Responding to media queries on the events related to Karakalpakstan in Uzbekistan, Bagchi said, "We have been following the proposed constitutional reform process in Uzbekistan, including the recent developments in Karakalpakstan. We express our condolences to families of the deceased and extend sympathies to the injured."He further said, "We have seen the steps taken by the Government of Uzbekistan to restore law and order and prevent any further escalation. As a close and friendly partner of Uzbekistan, we hope for an early stabilization of the situation."During the recent protest, last week, at least 18 people were killed and 243 injured.

The protest erupted after the Uzbekistan government made the constitutional changes affecting Karakalpakstan's status and which poses the challenge yet to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev's rule since he came to power in 2016 after Islam Karimov died, Al Jazeera reported.

Mirziyoyev on Saturday dropped plans to amend articles of the constitution concerning Karakalpakstan's autonomy and its right to secede, a day after protesters tried to seize local government buildings in the worst bout of violence in nearly 20 years.

"In [the administrative centre] Nukus, 18 people died as a result of serious injuries received during massive disorders," Abror Mamatov, an official from the state prosecutor's office, said as quoted by Al Jazeera.

According to the publication, 516 people were detained while dispersing the protesters last Friday but have now been released many of them, the national guard press office told a briefing.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, the President declared, a month-long state of emergency in the Republic of Karakalpakstan.

According to the official order, the state of emergency will run from July 3 to August 2.

The decree limits entry and exit from the province and all public events are prohibited. It also introduces temporary restrictions for the protection of public order such as restricting entry of vehicles and searches on individuals, etc, reported Anadolu Agency.

Mirziyoyev visited the region's capital of Nukus, where protesters tried to storm government buildings and announced that changes relating to Karakalpakstan will remain unchanged.

Earlier, it was reported that public order was restored in Nukus. The media has reported that people gathered in the central outdoor market area and demanded the release of a local blogger who called for a protest against constitutional amendments. Protesters believe thatKarakalpakstan may lose its right to secede from Uzbekistan via a referendum if amendments are adopted, reported Sputnik. (ANI)

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