MADHYA PRADESH – Two Muslim women were severely tortured by a mob led by cow vigilantes at a railway station in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday.
In a mobile phone video recorded by one of the many spectators Mandsaur, around 350 km from state capital Bhopal, policemen are seen making half-hearted attempts to control the crowd, the NDTV reported.
The police were at the railway station to arrest the women; they say they had been tipped off about the women travelling with a large quantity of beef to sell. Even after the police caught them, the women were slapped, kicked and abused by a crowd that had gathered at the railway station.
In the video, the women are cornered by a crowd that is heard screaming “Gau Mata Ki Jai (Hail holy cow)”. They are thrashed by the women in the mob until one of them collapses.
The women were thrashed for nearly half an hour before the police led them away.
Police sources said the beef was allegedly brought from Jaora to be sold in Mandsaur. Local doctors who examined the 30 kg of meat found that it was not beef, but buffalo’s meat.
The women have been produced in court by the police, but no action has been taken against the men and women who publicly assaulted the accused.
Many Indian states have banned the consumption of cow meat, which has become even more contentious since the murder last year of a Muslim man wrongly suspected of eating beef.
Critics say beef bans discriminate against Muslims and other religious minorities who rely on the cheap meat for protein.
Last September Mohammad Akhlaq was dragged from his house in northern Uttar Pradesh state andbeaten to death by around 100 people over rumours he had eaten beef.
Two more Muslim men were killed in separate incidents involving alleged cow smuggling and beef consumption.
Some critics say the killings point to a rise in religious intolerance under the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.