A 50-year-old man in a town on the outskirts of Delhi was dragged out of his home along with his adult son by a mob of about 100 villagers and beaten to death with bricks over rumors that he ate beef, NDTV.com reported.
Killing cows is illegal in the northern India region. One minister condemned the brutal beating, and said those involved would "not be spared." The Los Angeles Times reported that six suspects were arrested and there is a search for four others.
The incident reportedly occurred after an announcement was made at a temple that a calf had been slaughtered and its carcass located. There were no names given during the announcement, but the report said there are only two Muslim families in the vicinity and the other family was out at the time. Eating beef is frowned upon by conservative Hindus.
The Times reported that in 2008, Hindu hard-liners stripped and beat three people they believed killed a cow in a southern area.
"If the results prove that it was not beef, will they bring back my dead father?"
- Sajida, the daughter of the victim, when she learned that the meat was being tested
Monday's attack reportedly occurred at about 10:30 p.m. Mohammad Akhlaq and his son, Danish, 22, were both beaten by the gang. His son suffered serious injuries to his head and chest and is reportedly fighting for his life at a hospital.
The man's daughter, 18, who said she was hit in the face, said the meat in question was mutton. NDTV reported that the meat will be tested.
"If the results prove that it was not beef, will they bring back my dead father?" Sajida, the daughter, said, according to the Indian Express.