NEW DELHI: A fifty year old man was beaten to death, and critically injured his 22 year old son by a mob of about 100 people alleging that the family ate beef in the house, in a bizarre incident near the capital city of India.
The Indian Express reported that the incident took place on Monday night at around 10 PM in Dadri village, North Western Uttar Pradesh (UP), around 45 km from New Delhi.
According to Sajida, Akhlaqs 18-year-old daughter who was in the house when the attack took place, a group of more than 100 people from the village reached the house that night.
They accused us of keeping cow meat, broke down our doors and started beating my father and brother. My father was dragged outside the house and beaten with bricks. We came to know later that an announcement had been made from the temple about us eating beef, said Sajida.
Police said they have sent samples of meat taken from Akhlaqs home to the forensics department for examination. Akhlaqs daughter, Sajida, said the family had mutton in the fridge and not beef, according to Indian Express.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Gautam Buddh Nagar, Kiran S, said preliminary investigations revealed that an announcement was made from the temple about the family consuming beef.
The priest was picked for questioning as we need to investigate the involvement of others in the case, said Kiran.
Mohammad Akhlaq is a farm worker and his son, Danish, is a welder who works for the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) facility in the area. Danish was admitted to a government hospital where doctors described his condition as critical.
However, as news of the arrests spread, residents from Bisara and neighbouring villages held demonstrations and clashed with police near the NTPC facility, damaging vehicles, including a police van, and burning a motorcycle.
When police resorted to firing, Rahul Yadav, who works as a welder at NTPC, received a bullet injury near his abdomen.
Eating beef has become a politically contentious issue after the right wing BJP came to power in India. Recently, the state of Maharashtra enacted a law making possessing and eating beef a criminal act. Rajasthan and Haryana also enacted laws eating beef criminal. Latest in the line of beef ban was the predominantly Muslim inhabited Jammu and Kashmir state where the ban was imposed by a court order citing an obscure penal code enacted in 1819. Beef is banned in most other BJP ruling states of India.
India a multi religious, multi cultural and multi linguistic state has different food habits. About 80 % of the Indian population, comprising of Dalits, Adivasis, OBCs, Muslims and Christians etc eat beef.
It is ironic that India is the largest exporter of beef in the world! According to data released by U.S. Department of Agriculture India exported 2.4 million tonnes of beef and veal in FY2015, compared to 2 million tonnes by Brazil and 1.5 million by Australia. India accounts for 23.5 per cent of global beef exports. This is up from a 20.8 per cent share last year.
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