India has yet another case of religious vigilantes murdering neighbors to punish what they view as a blasphemy. Mohammad Akhlaq and his 22-year-old son were dragged from their house by around 100 villagers in Dadri and Akhlaq beaten to death on the outskirts of Delhi. The cause? A rumor that they had butchered a cow. Mohammad Akhlaq’s older son Mohammad Sartaj, 24, is an engineer with the Air Force.
After a rumor spread that Akhlaq had eaten beef, the mob turned on his home. The attack only occurred thirty minutes after the rumor was voiced (including the allegation that he stole the cow before butchering it). The fact that this was only one of two Muslim families in the area was clearly a strong motivation for the mob. The attackers destroyed Akhlaq’s house around 10:30 p.m. and attacked his wife and 70-year-old mother. When police arrived, the mob was still beating Akhlaq. Six young men were arrested. His son remains hospitalized with serious injuries.
What is chilling is that police investigated the crime . . . by testing what the family said was mutton in the fridge to determine if it was indeed beef. It remains a crime to kill cows in Uttar Pradesh and other areas in India.