Web Desk — Two Muslim men were beaten to death by Indian villagers who suspected them of stealing cows, police said on Monday. It is the latest in a series of attacks over the animals, which are considered sacred by Hindus.
According to a Guardian report, Police in Nagaon district, in Assam state in the country’s north-east, said they had registered a murder case over the deaths of Abu Hanifa and Riyazuddin Ali on Sunday. Two people have been detained for questioning.
Indian mob beats two Muslims to death over suspected cow theft https://t.co/UgDubHMZGE
— The Guardian (@guardian) May 1, 2017
“They were chased and beaten with sticks by villagers who said the two boys were trying to steal cows from their grazing field,” said Debaraj Upadhyay, Nagaon’s chief police officer.
“By the time we took them to the hospital at night they had succumbed to their injuries,” he added.
Footage shot by local witnesses and aired by Indian broadcasters on Monday showed the two badly beaten victims cowering with their hands tied as villagers surrounded them.
The incident comes amid rising tensions over the killing and smuggling of cows in Hindu-majority India, where their slaughter is a punishable offence in many states.
There have been a spate of attacks in recent months by “cow protection” vigilante groups, who roam highways inspecting livestock trucks for any trace of the animal.
Last month a Muslim man was beaten to death by a mob in Rajasthan after they discovered cows in his truck. The man was a dairy farmer transporting milk cows.