DADRI, UTTAR PRADESH: A 50-year-old man was beaten to death by a mob near Delhi on Monday night, allegedly over rumours that his family had eaten beef.
Mohammad Akhlaq and his son, 22, were dragged out by villagers in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh, around 45 km from the capital, and beaten with bricks. Akhlaq died before he could be taken to hospital, and his son is critical.
Before assaulting the father and son, the villagers broke into the house, wrecked everything and even attacked the women.
“My husband was bleeding. His head was smashed. They beat the family…my husband had no enemies…,” said Akhlaq’s wife.
The men were still being beaten when the police arrived. Six men were arrested from the spot.
Akhlaq’s daughter said they only had mutton in their fridge. The police say they have taken the meat and sent it for forensic testing.
The family had lived in the village for over three decades.
The police are investigating how the beef rumours started.
“We found out that the people beat them because they consumed cow meat. More people will be arrested,” said S Kiran, a senior police officer.
News of the arrests led to tension in the area as villagers clashed with the police, forcing them to fire in the air. Villagers have claimed that a boy was injured in the firing.
As various accounts swirled on social media, the district administration warned against trouble-makers. “If a digital war against communal harmony is initiated then the guilty will be punished. But our first concern is to stop any such thing and we are working on it,” said NP Singh, the district magistrate.