Cows walk along a Delhi Street. Image source: Wikimedia via McKay Savage. Photograph: (Others)
Asgar Ansari was rescued by police personnel and taken to a nearby hospital where he died during the course of treatment
In yet another case of cow vigilantism in India, a Muslim man accused of carrying beef was beaten to death by a mob in Jharkhand's Ramgarh district on Thursday.
Alimuddin alias Asgar Ansari was carrying the "banned meat" in a Maruti van when a group of people stopped him, brutally attacked him, and set his van on fire, PTI quoted police as saying.
Asgar Ansari was rescued by police personnel and taken to a nearby hospital where he died during the course of treatment.
The incident took place in Bajartand village.
Additional Director General of Police RK Mallik was quoted as saying by news agency IANS that his death was a case of premediated murder.
The top police official said Asghar had been chargesheeted for child abduction and murder, and that some people involved in beef trade had hatched a conspiracy to kill him. He added that Asghar's killers had been identified.
This is the second incident of death in the name of cow vigilantism in Jharkhand in the last three days.
On Tuesday, a mob of around 1000 people beat up a Muslim dairy owner and set his house on fire after finding a dead cow inside his house in Giridih district.
On June 22, a Muslim teenager from Haryana was lynched to death allegedly by his co-passengers in a train after an argument. The crowd allegedly called him and his two brothers, who were injured, as beef-eaters.
The incident comes the same day that Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that killing people in the name of cow-worship was unacceptable and that India is "a land of non-violence", the land of "Mahatma Gandhi".
The Opposition hit back with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi saying the prime minister's statement was "too little too late."
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said Modi should ensure strict action against cow vigilantes rather than reminding people of Mahatma Gandhi's ideals.
Protests were held in cities across India on Wednesday against a wave of attacks on Muslims by mobs that accuse them of killing cows or eating beef.
Protesters said they feared for their safety and called on PM Modi to do more to protect Muslims, who constitute 14 percent of India's 1.3 billion people.
Critics accuse right-wing Hindu groups, some linked to Modi's party, of not doing enough to stop violence against Muslims and lower-caste Hindus who eat beef or work in the meat and leather industries.
The Centre has banned the trading of cattle including buffalo for slaughter. The slaughter of cows, considered holy in Hinduism, is banned in most Indian states and laws on the issue have become more stringent over the past few years.