Hindus Dragged A Muslim Man From His Home And Beat Him To Death — For Eating Beef

A 50-year-old man in northern India has been killed in a mob lynching over rumours that his family had been storing and consuming beef at home.

Cover image via Manish Swarup/AP

If you have friends in India or browse Indian sites, chances are you might have come across a socio-political joke, with shades of brutal reality, doing the rounds on Facebook. It goes something like this:

Question: Mr. Mohammad bought 2kg of beef and 2kg of mutton for INR300 (RM21). If mutton costs INR100 (RM7) per kg, what is the cost of beef in India?

Answer: Life!

If you think that's funny, wait till you read what happened to Mohammad Akhlaq in a town called Dadri in the state of UP, India.

Mohammad Akhlaq was in bed when the mob arrived.

The commotion began in the distance, but crept closer and closer like encroaching thunder. Suddenly, there was a pounding at the door. Then the door broke inwards and men dragged the 50-year-old farmer from his sheets and into the street, according to the Indian Express.

They beat him with bricks found underneath his own bed; beat him until the bricks broke in their hands; beat him until Mohammad was dead.

Akhlaq’s alleged crime?

Eating beef.

Mohammad Akhlaq was a farm worker.

Image via BBC

Mohammad Akhlaq, aged 50, was beaten to death and his 22-year-old son was severely injured on Monday night, by residents of a nearby village, after rumours spread about the Muslim family storing and consuming beef, according to a report by the Indian Express

The attack on Akhlaq and his family took place around 10 pm in Bisara after an announcement about the family consuming beef was allegedly made at a local temple, police said.

While Akhlaq, a farm worker, succumbed to injuries suffered during the attack, his son Danish was admitted to a government hospital where doctors described his condition as “critical”.

Six people were arrested in connection with the attack, around 45 km from Delhi, sparking protests that led to police firing, damage to vehicles and injuries to a 20-year-old welder who works for the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) facility in the area.

According to Sajida, Mohammad Akhlaq's 18-year-old daughter who was in the house when the attack took place, "a group of more than 100 people from the village" reached the house that night

L to R- Daughter Sajida and wife Ikrama along with a relative.

Image via Catch News

“They accused us of keeping cow meat, broke down our doors and started beating my father and brother. 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 beef,” said Sajida.

The refrigerator where the meat was supposedly stored was damaged by the mob.

Image via Catch News

Moreover, the meat, which according to Sajida, was mutton and mistaken for beef is now under police custody and has been "sent to the forensics department for examination".

Akhlaq's daughter said the mob tried to attack her and her mother before they turned to the men. "What we want is justice," she said.

“This was preplanned. If they suspected we had slaughtered a cow, why did they not file a police complaint against us with the proof? We would have happily taken the punishment as laid out in the law. But who gave them the right to kill my father?

“What we had in the fridge was mutton,” Ms. Ikhlaq said. “We did not even slaughter or make any offering this festival season. Not even a chicken, let alone a cow.” Muslims in India traditionally sacrifice goats or buffaloes for Eid al-Adha, which was celebrated last week.

Hindus consider cows to be sacred, and it is illegal to slaughter the animals in Uttar Pradesh, the state where the attack took place

At least two other Indian states have adopted or tightened bans on the slaughter and consumption of beef since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party won parliamentary elections last year. A court in Jammu and Kashmir, where Muslims are a majority, recently ordered the authorities to strictly enforce a law that had been in place since the 1930s.

So far, India's prime minister has not commented on the issue

"The prime minister has been silent for the past 14-15 months other than criticising one of his ministers. It’s unfortunate that they are not taking it seriously. The kind of cultivated hysteria is going to lead to more violence,” senior journalist Varadarajan said.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Image via Washington Post

The attack on Monday night in the northern Indian city of Dadri has shocked the country, but it wasn’t exactly a surprise. For the past six months, meat has been a matter of major debate in India.

Eighty percent of the country’s of 1.3 billion inhabitants are Hindu — many of whom avoid beef for religious reasons. Roughly 250 million Indians are not. That tally includes almost 25 million Christians and up to 140 million Muslims, like Akhlaq.

The issue has raged in India for years. Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power last May, however, incidents have increased, as they tend to do whenever a conservative government has been in power.

Shockingly, a BJP politician, who lost the elections from Dadri, said: "the murder was an accident" and "Muslims are to be blamed for it"

"If the meat samples turn out to be from a cow, they [Muslims] will be to blame for what happened. They [Muslims] have been involved in illegal trading of cows. They slaughter and eat cows regularly," Nagar said.

But Nagar justifies the murder even if the samples don't turn out to be beef.

"Even if the meat samples are proved not to have come from cow, the mob acted on the impulse. They felt that a cow was under threat. What could they have done differently? It [the murder] was an accident."

The state government, meanwhile, announced on 30 September, an ex-gratia compensation of INR10,0000 to the family of the deceased

Previously on SAYS:

You may be interested in: