The Indian High Commission in Kenya on Tuesday advised Indian nationals to “exercise utmost caution” amid the rising tensions and protests against new tax hikes in the country.

Widespread protests broke out in Kenya on June 18 when a finance bill meant to raise or introduce taxes on a range of daily items and services was made public.

According to the Kenyan government, the bill is aimed at raising $2.7 billion in additional taxes to reduce the budget deficit and state borrowing, reported AP.

Tensions against the proposed law rose sharply on Tuesday as thousands of protestors stormed Kenya’s parliament and burned parts of the building. At least five people were killed after the police opened fire and over 30 were injured.

Following this, the High Commission in Nairobi advised Indian nationals to “restrict non-essential movement and avoid the areas affected by the protests and violence till the situation clears up”.

“Please follow local news and mission’s website and social media handles for updates,” it said.

Nearly 20,000 Indians are currently living in Kenya, reported The Hindu on Wednesday, citing official data.

Protests in Kenya

While the protests began in Nairobi, they have spread to other parts of Kenya, including Mombasa and Eldoret, according to AP.

After the demonstrations turned violent on Tuesday, President William Ruto said the events were “treasonous”. He also vowed to quash the protests at any cost.

“Today’s events mark a critical turning point on how we respond to threats to our national security,” Ruto was quoted as saying by the news agency.

Kenya Law Society President Faith Odhiambo has alleged that 50 individuals who were part of the demonstrations had been “abducted” by unidentified persons suspected to be police officers.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission has said the abductions occurred mostly at night and were “conducted by police officers in civilian clothes and unmarked cars”, reported AFP.

Also read: Why Kenya’s finance bill has sparked outrage and protests