India

India 'cow vigilantes' lynch three men

Relatives of the three men beaten to death mourn in Bihar, India. Photo: 19 July 2019 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Relatives of the victims mourned outside a hospital in Bihar

A mob in eastern India has beaten to death three men suspected of trying to steal cattle, police say.

They say the suspects were caught by villagers in the Bihar state as they were trying to load a buffalo and a calf onto a lorry on Friday morning.

This is the latest in a spate of "cow vigilante" attacks that have provoked alarm among religious minorities and socially underprivileged classes.

Hindus consider cows sacred and killing them is taboo.

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Media captionNawal Kishore Sharma explains how the vigilante patrols work

Three villagers were later arrested in connection with the lynching.

Critics have accused the governing Hindu-nationalist BJP of not doing enough to rein in such violence.

Several dozen people have been killed and hundreds injured in mob attacks since 2014, when the BJP came to power, but there have been convictions in only a handful of cases.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been criticised for not condemning the attacks quickly or strongly enough.

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