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AFP
July 20, 2019

‘Cow vigilantes’ kill three men in India

World

AFP
July 20, 2019

PATNA, India: A mob in an Indian village beat to death three men suspected of stealing cattle on Friday in a new "cow vigilante" attack reported by police that highlights hardening Hindu nationalism.

A fourth man was in critical condition in hospital after the attack in a village in the eastern state of Bihar. Police said three people had been detained for the killings and others in the village were suspected. At least one of the dead was Muslim.

The group had been driving a truck and were stopped in Pithori Nandlal village by a crowd who accused them of stealing cows, which are considered sacred by Hindus. Many Indian states ban the eating and slaughter of beef. Attacks on individuals suspected of trading in cows have increased however since Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, according to rights groups.

A Bihar police official told AFP the latest victims, who came from a rival village, "were badly beaten on suspicion of stealing cattle and died on the way to the hospital." As news of the deaths spread, residents from the men’s home village went to the hospital to stage an angry protest, police said.

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