New Delhi, MINA – Police are investigating the involvement of “cow vigilantes” in the death of a Muslim dairy farmer, local media reported Monday.
A suspect has been arrested over the killing of 35-year-old Umar Khan in Alwar, Rajasthan, last Thursday.
Cows are considered sacred in the Hindu religion and since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014 there has been a rise in attacks on Muslim cattle owners by Hindu nationalists.
In April, a dairy owner was lynched by a mob in Alwar, sparking nationwide outrage.
Khan’s family said he was shot dead as he transported the cows, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported. His body was found on railway tracks on Friday.
One male relative who was with Khan at the time, Tahir Khan, 42, has been admitted to hospital in Haryana with gunshot wounds. Another, 28-year-old Javed Khan, is still missing.
The men belong to the Meo Muslim community, which is spread over Rajasthan, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh, The Hindu newspaper said.
“We demand an inquiry into the incident,” Hafiz Khan Mevati, a Meo leader, told Anadolu Agency.
“We are farmers and cattle rearers and cannot be involved in cow slaughter. He was killed by cow vigilantes. Stern action should be taken against those involved.”
Police on Monday claimed that “anti-social elements” were behind the killing, the Hindustan Times reported.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria told Anadolu Agency: “The police are investigating the matter. No one is going to be spared.”
Earlier, Kataria told broadcaster NDTV that the state did not have the manpower to “control every situation in all cities”.
Since September 2015, at least a dozen people connected to the cattle industry have been killed in vigilante attacks. (T/RS5/RS1)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)