Indian police arrested one Hindu for suspected involvement in the killing of a Muslim man who was attacked with a knife on a running train near the Indian capital.
The arrested man told reporters late Saturday that he was drunk when he attacked four men on the train Friday after he was told by his friends that they were “beef-eaters.” Eating beef is taboo for many Hindus.
Police said another three Muslims were injured in the attack by about 20 Hindus.
The Muslims were travelling back to their village in Haryana after shopping in New Delhi ahead of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Police officer Kamal Deep Goyal said an altercation over seat space between the two groups triggered the attack.
“They started fighting over seats in the compartment. Then there are also allegations that some words which hurt religious sentiments were said after which things got out of hand,” said Goyal.
Attacks on minority Muslims by Hindu fringe groups have been on the rise, apparently emboldened since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government came to power in 2014.
Hindus, who form 80 per cent of India’s 1.3 billion people, consider cows to be sacred. In many Indian states, the slaughtering of cows and selling of beef is either restricted or banned. Muslims comprise nearly 14 percent of India’s population.
There have been several incidents of Hindu hard-liners attacking Muslims for transporting cows for slaughter in recent months.— Agencies