15:30 GMT28 May 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): India’s principal opposition party Congress is celebrating its 135th Foundation Day by holding peace rallies across various states in the country to protest against the nation’s new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), introduced by the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).

    Highlighting the violent protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in India’s northeastern state of Assam, Rahul Gandhi, Congress Party’s top politician, told rally-goers that the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) (a nationalist cultural organisation in India) cannot pose a threat to the ethnic culture of the northeast.

    Rahul said any attack on the history, culture, language of Assamese will not be tolerated.

    ​The politician went on to say that the policies undertaken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP party will pave the way for the disruption of the peace established by the Assam Accord in the state.

    "I fear Assam is returning to the path of violence because of the BJP's policies. I remember saying it in the past, that if the BJP comes to power in Assam, it would hinder peace and development in the State,” he said.

    The 1985 Assam Accord, signed between the Indian government and the representatives of the state, stipulates granting citizenship to foreigners who entered the state before 1971, keeping aside religion as a criterion. The controversial CAA legislation has replaced 1971 deadline with 2014.

    The CAA protests started in the north-eastern states of the country, and gradually spread to other parts of the country. According to police sources, nearly six people have lost their lives in violence in the north-eastern state of Assam alone.

    With turmoil gripping India due to the controversial Citizenship Lawb passed by both houses of the Indian Parliament and approved the President Ram Nath Kovind, the country witnessed widespread protests against the law which allows granting of citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

    It allows Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians, Buddhists and Jains who entered India before January 2015, to acquire Indian citizenship. 

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    Tags:
    citizenship law, Rahul Gandhi, State of Assam, India
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