According to a report, Pehlu Khan, 55, and his companions were reportedly targeted after they fell under suspicion of smuggling cows through Rajasthan, a northern Indian state where cow trafficking is illegal.
The attackers were affiliated with Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a right-wing nationalist organization, and its youth wing, Bajrang Dal, according to Ramesh Chand Sinsinwar, a Behror police official.
The men “stopped four vehicles… on Saturday evening, alleging that they were illegally transporting bovines…” Sinsinwar told the Indian Express.
Khan, a Muslim, and his companions were then beaten, despite attempting to present documents proving they were transporting the cattle legally.
“I told them I had all the documents, but they pulled us out of the vehicle and beat us up. They took away Rs 35,000 (US$538) from me. I later lost consciousness and woke up in a hospital at around 1am on Sunday,” said a man named Azmat, who was with Khan in one of the vehicles.
Footage posted online by Indian Express shows the men being attacked in the middle of the street, and one of their trucks being damaged.
Khan, Azmat, and three others in their party were hospitalized, according to Sinsinwar. The attackers allowed one of the drivers to leave the scene.