A young Muslim man was brutally attacked by a group of men near Delhi on suspicions of transporting beef, it emerged on Sunday after a video of the incident went viral on social media.
According to Times of India, police said that the incident took place on Friday morning in Haryana's Gurgaon district and one of the accused had been arrested.
In the video, a group of men can be seen dragging and kicking the 27-year-old victim, identified as Lukmaan, as a huge crowd watches in silence, the TOI reported.
One of the men in the video can also be seen using a small hammer to physically assault the victim, the report said, adding that a cop can also be seen standing next to the victim.
"The victim told police he was transporting buffalo meat in his truck from Nuh to Sadar Bazaar area of Gurgaon. When he reached Gurgaon, he was chased by some men on motorcycles. He sped away but got waylaid and thrashed by them," police PRO Subhash Boken told the publication.
"They later took the victim to another place near Sohna and beat him up again and also damaged his vehicle," he said, adding that the victim had been hospitalised and a case had been registered.
He said that one of the accused, Pradeep Yadav, had been arrested while the others had been identified. "Efforts are under way to apprehend them," he told TOI.
“The motive behind the attack is not clear, but it could be prompted by suspicion over transportation of beef. The samples of the meat have been taken,” Boken said while talking to The Hindu.
The president of the Masjid Market said the assailants attacked those who tried to intervene.
Meanwhile, NDTV reported the owner of the vehicles as saying that the meat was buffalo and he had been in the business for 50 years. The publication added that officials had also sent the meat to a lab for testing.
At least 44 people were killed in cow-related violence from 2015 to 2018, according to Human Rights Watch.
In 2019, a US State Department report said religious violence against minorities had increased under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It said Muslims and low-caste Dalits had been particularly targeted for eating beef. In recent years, angry mobs have lynched many people from marginalised groups in India, especially Muslims and the Dalits who occupy the lowest rung of the ancient caste system, often over suspicions of cow slaughter.