A Muslim man has died in western India after he was attacked by hundreds of Hindu cow protection vigilantes, the latest attack in a spate of mob killings in the name of the revered animal.
Police said on Wednesday that Pehlu Khan, 55, had died in hospital two days after a group attacked his cattle truck on a road in Alwar in the desert state of Rajasthan.
Gangs of “cow protectors” have been implicated in killing at least 10 people in the past two years as the welfare of the animal has become an increasingly charged issue in Indian politics.
Cows are revered by most of India’s majority Hindu community and beef consumption is permitted in only eight of the country’s 29 states and territories.
Alwar’s police chief, Rahul Prakash, told Agence France-Presse at least six others were injured in the attack, but they had now been discharged from hospital.
Police posted a 5,000-rupee (£62) reward to help identify the attackers and have listed more than 200 people as suspects in the murder case.
“We are yet to receive the postmortem report, but [the victim] had multiple rib fractures,” Prakash said.
Khan was driving in a convoy of six cattle transport trucks and returning to his home state of Haryana when the mob intercepted his vehicle.
Video of the attack was broadcast on Indian television, showing the men being beaten with iron rods and sticks.
Cow protection has been a trigger for sectarian violence throughout modern Indian history and its resurgence since 2015 has been linked to an increasingly assertive Hindu nationalist movement.
India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, won office in 2014 pledging to ban beef across India, and calls to declare the cow India’s national animal have grown since his…
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