Muslim man dies after attack by cow vigilantes in India

A Rajasthani nomad walks with his cows and oxen on a highway in Sultanpur in the northern state of Haryana in this file photo. Indian police on Wednesday said a Muslim man died two days after he was attacked by hundreds of Hindu vigilantes while transporting cows in Alwar, Rajasthan. (REUTERS/Kamal Kishore)
Updated 05 April 2017

Muslim man dies after attack by cow vigilantes in India

NEW DELHI: A Muslim man has died after he was attacked by hundreds of Hindu vigilantes while transporting cows in India, police said Wednesday, amid rising tensions over the slaughter of the sacred animal.
Pehlu Khan, 55, died in hospital late Monday, two days after a mob attacked his cattle truck on a highway in Alwar in the western state of Rajasthan.
Cows are considered sacred in Hindu-majority India, and their slaughter is illegal in many states.
In parts of northern and western India, squads of vigilantes roam highways inspecting livestock trucks for any trace of the animal.
Alwar police chief Rahul Prakash said at least six others were injured in the attack, but had now been discharged from the hospital.
Police are still trying to identify the attackers and have filed a murder case, he said, adding that a postmortem would determine the cause of Khan’s death.
“We are yet to receive the postmortem report but he had multiple rib fractures,” he told AFP.
Prakash said the victim and his associates were returning to their home state of Haryana when the mob intercepted their vehicle.
At least 10 Muslim men have been killed in similar incidents across the country by Hindu mobs on suspicion of eating beef or smuggling cows in the last two years.
In 2015 a Muslim man was lynched by his neighbors over rumors that he had slaughtered a cow. Police later said the meat was mutton.
Critics say the vigilantes were emboldened by the election in 2014 of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.
Last year Modi criticized the cow-protection vigilantes and urged a crackdown against groups using religion as a cover for committing crimes.
But last month, he appointed a right-wing Hindu priest to head the country’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh, which is also home to much of the country’s meat industry.
Shortly after he was sworn in, police began shutting butcher shops, grinding much of the industry to a halt.


Protests in New Delhi against India’s citizenship law ahead of Trump visit

Updated 23 February 2020

Protests in New Delhi against India’s citizenship law ahead of Trump visit

  • Hundreds of people supporting the new law clashed with those opposing it
  • The protest comes just a day before US President Donald Trump begins a two-day visit to India

NEW DELHI: Police used tear gas to disperse large crowds in India’s capital of New Delhi on Sunday in the latest eruption of violence at protests over a new citizenship law, police officials said.
Hundreds of people supporting the new law clashed with those opposing it, with the two groups pelting each other with stones in the Maujpur area in the northeastern part of the city, according to television footage.
“There must be some miscreants who want to spoil the peace in the area. We will identify them and take action against them,” Alok Kumar, a senior Delhi police official, told reporters about the protest.
“The situation is under control now,” he added.
The protest comes just a day before US President Donald Trump begins a two-day visit to India, where he is expected to raise the issue of religious freedom in the country with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India’s Citizenship Amendment Act, which eases the path for non-Muslims from neighboring Muslim-majority nations to gain citizenship, has triggered weeks of sometimes violent protests against Modi’s government.
The Indian law is seen by opponents as discriminating against Muslims and has deepened concerns that Modi’s administration is undermining India’s secular traditions.
Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party denies any bias against the country’s 180 million Muslims.
On Sunday, a separate protest also erupted in the northern Indian city of Aligarh, where protesters threw stones at the police, state administration official Chandra Bhushan Singh said.
The Internet in the area had been suspended until midnight, he added.