A mob killed one Muslim man and injured four others after the men were accused of smuggling cows for the purpose of slaughtering them for meat. The survivors were arrested and charged with animal cruelty.
Hindu activists torch an effigy of Uttar Pradesh's chief minister, saying he failed to verify their accusations that a man lynched by a mob was in possession of beef
In the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, a mob of hard-line Hindus attacked five Muslim men for allegedly smuggling cows to be slaughtered, according to local police.
Officer Somya Sambhasivan said that the mobs chased the men, who were driving a truck carrying five cows and 10 bulls.
Police responded to the incident and discovered the men hiding in a nearby forest after the mobs had attacked them.
Sambhasivan added that police arrested all five men on charges of animal cruelty, and then proceeded to take them to the hospital, where one of the men died after succumbing to the injuries.
The men reportedly let the cattle out of the truck once they realized they were being chased.
The incident comes on the heels of ruling party official Haryana state Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar's comments to the "Indian Express" newspaper that Muslims should adhere to a ban on eating beef if the central government passed legislation on it.
"In this country, they [Muslims] will have to give up eating beef," Khattar told the Indian newspaper in an interview published Friday.
"They can be Muslim even after they stop eating beef, can't they? It is written nowhere that Muslims have to eat beef, nor is it written anywhere in Christianity that they have to eat beef," Khattar said during the interview.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist ruling party were criticized for failing to address the lynching of a Muslim man in September who was falsely accused of eating beef in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
After weeks of silence, Modi this week described the incident as "unfortunate." The issue has attracted an authors' protest this week, with writers saying India is becoming intolerant under Modi.
In 2015, several states have enacted bans on the import, export and consumption of beef.
ls/ (AP, Reuters, dpa, PTI)