Mob kills two youths accused of plotting to steal cows

An Indian man offers food to cows at a cow shelter in New Delhi on April 25, 2017.
An Indian man offers food to cows at a cow shelter in New Delhi on April 25, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

GUWAHATI • A mob in India beat to death two Muslims who were accused of trying to steal cows for slaughter, the latest incident in a surge of violence blamed on hardline Hindu groups.

Some Hindu groups are demanding a ban on the slaughter of cows, which are regarded as sacred in their religion. Activists have been making their demands more vociferously since Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, came to power in 2014.

Police yesterday said the latest attack happened on Sunday in the Nagaon district in the north-eastern state of Assam. About 20 people attacked the two Muslim youths, beating them with sticks, after they were accused of plotting to steal cows. "By the time we took them to the hospital at night, they had succumbed to their injuries," said Nagaon's top police officer Debaraj Upadhyay.

Some television pictures show the two victims with their hands tied.

The parents of one of the youths have lodged a complaint and police are investigating, Mr Upadhyay said.

The incident came as India mulls over the issuing of unique identification numbers to millions of cows to protect the sacred animals.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2017, with the headline 'Mob kills two youths accused of plotting to steal cows'. Print Edition | Subscribe