Police in India have detained six people over the death of a Muslim man severely beaten by purported Hindu extremists over rumors that his family had eaten beef.
Mohammad Akhlaq, 50, was dragged out of his house on the suburbs of the Indian capital, New Delhi, and was assaulted by some 100 people on Monday night, a police officer told AFP on Wednesday.
“When our team reached the spot, a crowd was there outside his house. They (police forces) managed to rescue him and take him to the hospital, but his life could not be saved,” said senior police officer Kiran S., adding, “We have arrested six people and deployed additional personnel to contain any further repercussions.”
Akhlaq’s 22-year-old son was also critically wounded in the attack and was taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at a nearby hospital.
The rumor that the family had eaten beef spread after a calf was reported missing in Dadri village, 35 kilometers (22 miles) from the capital.
“An announcement about the family consuming beef was made at a temple, after which the mob descended on the man’s house,” said Kiran.
According to Akhlaq’s daughter Sajida, the family had mutton in the fridge, not beef.
“They (the attackers) accused us of keeping cow meat, broke down our doors and started beating my father and brother. My father was dragged outside and beaten with bricks,” she said.
Killing cows is banned in many parts of India, a majority-Hindu country with a sizeable Muslim population of some 180 million.