Cow Vigilantism: Assam villagers kill two Muslim men over suspected cow theft

Two Muslim men were killed after they were attacked by villagers who suspected them of stealing cows, police said Monday.

Police said the incident took place at Kachamari Pathar, nearly 130 km from the Dispur, when a group of people intercepted two youths on suspicion of stealing cows and attacked them.

Police in the state of Assam said they had registered a murder case over the deaths of Abu Hanifa and Riyazuddin Ali who were beaten with sticks on Sunday. Two suspects have been detained for questioning.

“They were chased and beaten with sticks by villagers who said the two boys were trying to steal cows from their grazing field,” Debaraj Upadhyay, Nagaon’s top cop, told media.

“By the time we took them to the hospital at night they had succumbed to their injuries,” he added.

According to the reports, in some border areas of Assam, cattle are smuggled into Bangladesh.

In Assam, the slaughter of cows is banned except on issuance of fit for slaughter certificate at designated places under the Assam Cattle Preservation Act.

According to the Act, cows of any age can be slaughtered in the state on the occasion of Id-ul -Zuha.

The incident comes amidst a wave of rising tensions over the killing and smuggling of cows in Hindu-majority India, where the animal is considered sacred and its slaughter is a punishable offence in many states.

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