An angry mob in India beat a Muslim man to death for killing a bovine. The crime of killing a cow is punishable by imprisonment under local laws. The mob formed in Amgara village in the central Madhya Pradesh state also known as the "Heart of India". The attack took place Thursday night when the villagers noticed two men who were identified as Riyaz Khan and Shakeel Maqbool with the cow near a quarry.
Some reports couldn't agree on whether it was a cow or a bull but the killing of either sex of the animal is a criminal offense under state laws. Madhya Pradesh bans the slighter of cows, calves, bulls, including bullocks and buffalo calves. The punishment likely would have been some time in prison, but the locals took matters into their own hands. "The villagers saw Khan and Maqbool slaughtering bulls. They got angry and attacked them," Rajendra Pathak with the local police said.
Both men were lynched by the angry mob, and 45-year-old Riyaz died from his injuries. Maqbool received critical injuries of his own and was taken to a local hospital. When police arrived at the scene, they found bags of slaughtered cattle and the meat of two more animals in some other bags. A senior police officer named Rajesh Hingankar said that four men were arrested for the lynching. Authorities also filed complains against Khan and Maqbool for cattle slaughter. The state had recently increased the jail term for slaughtering a cow to seven years and fine of $73.
"On the basis of the first information report lodged by the villager, Shakeel Maqbool will be arrested after he is discharged from the hospital," Hingankar said. The harsh stance on cattle slaughter has been met by "cow vigilantes" who attack farmers in an effort to stop them from slaughtering the cattle. A Muslim teen caught with beef was allegedly stabbed to death n 2017. The Human Rights Watch called on the Indian authorities to prosecute the "cow vigilantes" saying the targets of the attacks were often Muslims. The slaughter of the animals is illegal because cows are considered sacred by Hindus.
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