Lucknow: Thirteen people were killed in violence across Uttar Pradesh over the centre’s new citizenship law, which broke out after Friday prayers. One person had died in Lucknow and one in Sambhal on Thursday, taking the total number of deaths in the state to 15.
The police said four persons have died in Meerut, two each in Firozabad and Bijnor, one each in Sambhal, Kampur, Varanasi and Lucknow.
Police say 263 Uttar Pradesh cops have also been injured in the violence since Thursday.
Violence had taken place across 13 districts on Thursday. The list included Saharanpur, Deoband, Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Hapur, Sambhal, Aligarh, Bahraich, Ferozabad, Kanpur, Bhadohi and Gorakhpur.
Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police OP Singh has denied that police firing was responsible for any of the deaths. “We did not shoot even a single bullet,” he said. Another officer had claimed that “if any firing happened, it was from the protesters’ side”.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act makes religion the test of citizenship — a first in the country. The government says it will help minorities from three Muslim-dominated countries to get citizenship if they fled to India because of religious persecution.
Critics say it is designed to discriminate against Muslims and violates the secular principles of the constitution.