Indian police arrest three over cow vigilante murder

New Delhi

Police said Thursday they have arrested three people for murder over the death of a Muslim man attacked while transporting cows in India, in the latest incidence of violence over the animal Hindus revere.
Pehlu Khan, a 55-year-old farmer, died in hospital on Monday after around 200 vigilantes attacked trucks carrying cattle on a highway in Alwar in the western state of Rajasthan.
Cow slaughter is illegal in many Indian states, and vigilante squads that roam the highways checking livestock trucks for animals being transported across state borders have proliferated since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014. Police are still trying to identify most of the 200 vigilantes who attacked Khan and injured six others as they transported dozens of cows into a neighbouring state.
Alwar police chief Rahul Prakash said they arrested three late Wednesday after examining video footage shot by onlookers and broadcast by the media.
“We saw the videos and identified at least five people who were at the spot. We called those five people to the police station and found that three of them were directly involved in assault on the victims,”
Prakash told AFP. Prakash said police had also arrested 11 survivors of the attack, charging them under various sections of Rajasthan’s cow protection law. Rajasthan is among the states that ban cow slaughter, and authorities also require anyone transporting the animals across state borders to have a licence.—AFP

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