Lucknow: An Uttar Pradesh minister on Thursday stoked a controversy after he refused to meet the families of the two Muslim men who had died in Uttar Pradesh during a protest over the new citizenship law. He also termed them as “upadravi” (vandals).

“Why should I go to vandals’ place? How can those who are involved in vandalism and put the entire country and state in arson be social,” minister Kapil Dev Agarwal posed, defending his decision to not visit the homes of the two Muslim families.

“Why should I visit those who want to put Nahtaur/Bijnor in flames?” the minister in-charge of the district shot back when asked by reporters to justify his decision.

It must be noted that during Friday’s violence 20-year-old Suleman, an IAS aspirant, and 25-year-old Anas lost their lives.

The local police had later admitted that Suleman died from a police bullet and that he was among the alleged rioters who opened fire at a cop from a country-made gun and that he was shot in self-defence.

Suleman’s family, however, had denied this and said he had nothing to do with the protests.

Nineteen people were killed, 263 police personnel injured and state-owned property damaged across Uttar Pradesh in violence during the protests against the amended law.

(With PTI inputs)