BHUBANESWAR, India (Reuters) – A mob in India killed a man after accusing him of butchering a cow, police said on Monday, in the latest case of violence involving the animals considered sacred to the country’s Hindu-majority population.
M.L. Meena, a senior police official in eastern Jharkhand state, told Reuters a crowd of 10-15 people attacked three men on Sunday, accusing them of butchering a cow in a forest about 50 km (30 miles) from the state capital Ranchi.
The villagers beat them “severely”, Meena said. One of trio died and the others sustained injuries. One of the men is still undergoing treatment in hospital, while the remaining victim suffered minor injuries.
Police have detained eight people in connection with the lynching in the rural Khunti district, he added.
“Police are investigating the matter. We are addressing this murder case,” Meena said.
Cows are sacred in Hinduism, and there have been frequent attacks on those accused of killing them for meat or leather, predominantly people from the minority Muslim population or those on the lower rungs of India’s ancient caste system.
The three men attacked by the mob on Sunday were not Muslim, Meena said.
Reporting by Jatindra Dash; Editing by Alasdair Pal and Alex Richardson