Hindu Cow Vigilantes in India Beat Muslim Man to Death

A Muslim man transporting cattle in northern India died Tuesday after being beaten by about 200 Hindu cow-protection vigilantes who consider the animals sacred, police announced. The vigilantes reportedly surrounded the vehicles carrying cattle, pulled out five Muslim men inside, and beat them. Fifty-five-year-old Pehlu Khan was taking the cows to a dairy—not being taken for slaughter, which is illegal in the region—when he was attacked and killed, his associates said. The beatings were videotaped, and footage showed the men curled up on the side of the road while they were whipped with belts and metal rods. Rahul Prakash, police superintendent in the northern city of Alwar, said the mob was so unruly that it had to be forcibly dispersed. The men transporting the cattle were arrested and accused of smuggling the cows, but none of the members of the mob have been arrested. Police say an investigation is ongoing. “There are two sides to this,” said the top security official in Rajasthan state, Gulab Chand Kataria. “They know that one cannot smuggle cows out of Rajasthan. A law is in place.” He added, “But taking the law into your hands, that is a crime.”