Cow vigilantes arrested

NEW DELHI: Indian police have arrested two Hindu farmers in connection with the killing of a Muslim man suspected of smuggling cows to a slaughter house, the investigating officer said yesterday. Hardline Hindu groups have gained prominence since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014, and the protection of cows, considered holy by many in the Hindu-majority country, is a priority for them.

Police found the body of Ummar Khan, 35 on Friday on railway tracks in Alwar district, in the northwestern state of Rajasthan. The two suspects were detained on Monday and arrested the next day, said Rahul Prakash, the top police officer in Alwar. “It is a clear case of murder over the issue of cow protection and we have also found that the victim was running a cow-smuggling racket,” Prakash said. Khan and two accomplices were using a stolen vehicle to transport five cows when they were attacked by six members of a self-styled cow protection force, he said.

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