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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Twenty-three people have been killed nationwide since the law was passed in parliament earlier this month.
Protesters angered by India's Citizenship Amendment Act that excludes Muslims defied a ban against demonstrations on Sunday, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi used a rally for his Hindu nationalist party to defend the legislation, accusing the opposition of pushing the country into a "fear psychosis".
Addressing party supporters in New Delhi - who cried "Modi! Modi!" at the mention of the law - the 69-year-old said Muslims "don't need to worry at all" provided they are genuine Indians. "Muslims who are sons of the soil and whose ancestors are the children of mother India need not to worry," Modi told the crowd of thousands.
Twenty-three people have been killed nationwide since the law was passed in parliament earlier this month. Authorities across the country have scrambled to contain the situation, banning public gatherings under Section 144, a British colonial-era law, and blocking Internet access.
A group of politicians from the opposition Trinamool Congress party who travelled to Uttar Pradesh on Sunday to meet families of those killed in the violence were not permitted to leave the airport runway, police said. "We will not permit them because Section 144 is imposed in the area and it can make the atmosphere more tense," said Uttar Pradesh's police chief O.P. Singh.
In the southern state of Tamil Nadu, about 500 Muslim and leftist activists protested, defying a ban on public gatherings there.
Modi took the stage at a rally in the capital launching his Bharatiya Janata Party's campaign for New Delhi legislative assembly elections in February, and quickly turned to the contentious new law. "People who are trying to spread lies and fear, look at my work. If you see any trace of divisiveness in my work, show it to the world," he said.
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