Muslim Man Killed by Lynch Mob in Indian State of Bihar For Stealing Cattle
07:54 GMT 11.12.2021 (Updated: 10:40 GMT 19.07.2022)
© AP Photo / Altaf QadriIndian protesters shout slogans as they hold placards and candles during a protest condemning recent mob lynching of Muslim youth Tabrez Ansari in Jharkhand state, in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, June 26, 2019. Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the helm of the Indian government, Hindu mobs have lynched dozens of people, mainly Muslims and lower-caste Dalits.
© AP Photo / Altaf Qadri
Despite claims by the Narendra Modi government, lynchings continue in India. Most of the attacks are waged by the so-called cow vigilantes from fringe Hindu groups and target Muslims as well as oppressed castes of Hindus.
A mob in the Indian state of Bihar beat a 50-year-old Muslim man to death on suspicion of stealing cattle in the Araria district, state police have said.
The incident took place on 8 December in Bhavanipur, a village in the district; however, it came to light only on Friday, after which police registered a complaint against an unknown group of youths.
According to the Indian newspaper Indian Express, villagers raised the alarm after they allegedly spotted men stealing buffaloes and bullocks owned by another villager.
"When villagers tried to chase the men, one of them allegedly drew a gun and fired in the air to scare them off. While the other [cattle rustlers] managed to flee, [neighbouring Supaul district resident] Mohammed Siddiqui was caught and beaten by the people with wooden sticks and fists," Nagina Kumar, a local police officer told the news outlet.
According to another police officer, S. K. Albela: "they keep getting complaints of cattle theft from the surrounding village but never mob violence."
"As of now, no arrest has been made," the official added.
Lynching incidents have been reported from Araria in the past. In June, a 30-year-old Muslim man was allegedly lynched by a mob in the Araria district on suspicion of theft. In 2019 and 2018, men were lynched in the district based on suspicion of cattle theft.
Araria is around 300 kilometres from the state capital Patna.
Cow vigilantism is well-documented across India, where Hindu groups take action against Muslims and Dalits accused of transporting, harming or slaughtering bovine animals.
Hindus consider cows sacred and killing them is taboo.
"From 2016 until the end of 2020, over 50 fatalities have been reported as a result of lynching or mob violence following suspected cow slaughter or trade," an international NGO, ACLED, said in its report.
Sharing more specifics, a New York-based Human Rights Watch in its report said that about 280 people had been injured, leaving 44 dead (mostly Muslims) in more than 100 attacks by cow protection groups between May 2015 and December 2018.
As the attacks by cow protection groups increased, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also condemned vigilante violence and said killing people because of cow worship "is not acceptable".