Muslim man dies after attack by cow vigilantes in India

Miranda GreerApr 06, 2017

Pehlu Khan, who was part of a group of 15 Muslims ferrying cattle to Haryana with documents showing that they were permitted to do so legally, were set upon by a group of "cow vigilantes" and brutally beaten on Saturday in Alwar.

Hindus, a majority in the country, regard the cow as holy, and this is the latest in a series of incidents of cow vigilantes attacking people transporting cattle in various parts of the country. In many Indian states, the slaughtering of cows and selling of beef are either restricted or banned. The five men were heading to Haryana after purchasing the cows from a fair in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, when they were stopped by the mob on a highway.

Police officials told the BBC that some men had attacked three vehicles that were transporting cows on Saturday.

"We had lodged an FIR against the gau rakshaks under IPC Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 147 (destruction of property), 308 (culpable homicide) and 379 (theft)".

"They vandalised the two vehicles, you can see in the video (he shared a video with HT) and beat these people so badly", Husain Khan said. Cow vigilantes have been blamed for increasing attacks on those in the cow slaughter trade.

While videos, said to be of the particular incident, are circulating on social media, the police is yet to arrest a single cow-vigilante.

According to reports, at least 10 Muslims have been killed over last two years by cow vigilantes across the country.

For many Hindus, who form 80% of India's 1.3bn population, eating beef is taboo.

State Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria has shockingly come out to defend the lynch mob and blame the victims.

Some of those attacked are undergoing treatment for injuries while the remaining are in judicial custody, said Virendra Singh, a constable at the Bahror police station.

The new Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered a crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses, which had led to the burning down of several meat shops in the state.

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