Mohommed Akhlaq (50) and his son Danish (22) were beaten up by Hindu mob over the rumour that they have slaughtered and consumed the beef in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, India.
The attack on Akhlaq and his family took place after an announcement about the family consuming beef was made at a local temple. Akhlaq and his son were dragged from their beds and beaten with bricks. The father died; the son is fighting for his life in hospital.
A case of rioting and murder was registered against 10 people, all of whom were the residents of Bisara village.
As news of the arrests spread, residents from Bisara and neighbouring villages held demonstrations and clashed with police damaging vehicles, including a police van, and burning a motorcycle.
In most of the states of India, cow slaughter is illegal but possessing or eating beef is not so.
Cattle slaughter is a historically taboo subject because of the cow’s traditional status as a sacred animal in Hinduism, the largest religion in India.
On October 26, 2005, the Supreme Court of India, in a landmark judgement upheld the constitutional validity of anti-cow slaughter laws enacted by different state governments in India.
24 out of 29 states in India currently have various regulations prohibiting either the slaughter or sale of cows. However, the laws governing cattle slaughter vary greatly from State to State.
In recent months government leaders have advocated a national ban on cow slaughter. However, critics say that the tougher anti-beef laws discriminate against Muslims, Christians and lower-caste Hindus who rely on the cheap meat for protein.
India is the second largest exporter and fifth biggest consumer in the world.