A mob has reportedly beaten a man to death in northern India over claims his family had been eating beef at home.
Mohammad Akhlaq was allegedly kicked and beaten with stones by a group of men in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh state. His 22-year-old son was also seriously injured in the reported attack and is recovering in hospital.
“They accused us of keeping cow meat, broke down our doors and started beating my father and brother, the man's daughter, Sajida Akhlaq, told the Indian Express newspaper. "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
The family were allegedly attacked after an annoucement at a local temple that they were storing and consuming beef in their home.
The slaughter of cows is a sensitive issue in India, as the animal is considered sacred by Hindus, who make up 80 per cent of the country's population.
Mr Akhlaq's family said they stored mutton, not beef, in their fridge. The police have reportedly sent the meat for testing.
"Some locals spread rumours that Akhlaq had cow meat at his home and engaged in cow slaughter. Following the rumours, they attacked his home," a senior local offical told the Indian Express.
Six people have been arrested in connection with the incident and police are investigating who spread the rumour.
As news of the arrests spread, residents from neighbouring villages reportedly held demonstrations and clashed with police.Reuse content