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Indian mob killed two Muslim men over ‘cow theft’ in Assam

Indian mob killed two Muslim men over ‘cow theft’ in Assam

Hindus consider cows sacred and killing them is illegal in several states.

The heated villagers north-eastern state of Assam have killed two Muslim men allegedly ‘cow smuggling’ after they were beaten up with the sticks, police sources

Police in the northeastern state of Assam said two persons Abu Hanifa and Riyazuddin Ali beaten up with sticks which caused them to death later on.

Senior police officials said the men, aged between 20-25 years, were severely beaten up by the mob, who alleged that they were involved in cow theft. “When the police reached the spot, they were being thrashed by a mob of villagers near Kasamari grazing reserve under Nagaon police station,” Nagaon superintendent of police Debaraj Upadhay told.

An FIR has been lodged and investigation is on, while two suspects in connection with lynching have been detained for questioning, the SP had said.

The SP further assured an “impartial enquiry” into the episode. If it is case of “cow vigilantism”, a lot of cattle theft incidents have happened in Nagaon.

There has been a spate of attacks in recent months by ‘cow protection’ vigilante groups, who roam some highways inspecting livestock trucks for any trace of the animal.

A Human Rights Watch report last week said at least 10 Muslims had been killed over the issue since May 2015.

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Hindus consider cows sacred and killing them is illegal in several states. Those killed in the violent vigilante campaign against beef consumption include a 12-year-old boy.

In 2015, a Muslim man was lynched by his neighbours over rumors that he had slaughtered a cow. Police later said the meat was mutton.

Critics say the vigilantes have been emboldened by the election in 2014 of Prime Minister NarendraModi’s Hindu nationalist BharatiyaJanata Party.

Last year Modicriticised the cow-protection vigilantes and urged a crackdown against groups using religion as a cover for committing crimes.

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