NEW DELHI: The Assam Congress on Friday staged a protest at Jantar Mantar here against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, claiming that through this act Assamese-speaking people will lose their identity and culture.
Rajya Sabha MP and Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Ripun Bora said the situation in Assam has become worse today.
"There is no democracy left, people don't have the right to speak, there is no internet and the government has disappeared.
This is why Assam PCC has organised a protest today," he said.
AICC general secretary in-charge of Assam affairs Harish Rawat said the amended citizenship act is a "stain on our Preamble".
"It completely nullifies Article 14 of the Constitution, which guarantees equality before law and disallows discrimination against anyone based on religion, caste and birth," Rawat said.
Former state chief minister Tarun Gogoi also shared Rawat's view.
He said the BJP's "diversionary and divisive policies are ruining" the unity and integrity of India.
Assam is witnessing one of the most violent protests by the people in its history with three railway stations, post office, bank, bus terminus and many other public properties being set ablaze or totally damaged.
After Rajya Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on Wednesday, the state erupted in uncontrolled protests, in which agitators engaged in a pitched battle in almost every major city or town, forcing the administration to impose a curfew.
The bill was signed into law by President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday.
Lok Sabha MP Pradyut Bordoloi said, "Citizenship Act is basically an instrument of demographic engineering and through this act the Assamese speaking people will lose their identity and culture."
Under the new law, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi claimed that the BJP is arrogant and is running away from its responsibility.
"The BJP is insulting the north eastern states," he alleged.