Mob in Indian village kills man over cow slaughter

Story highlights

  • A village mob beat a Muslim man and his son after blaming them for the slaughter of a cow
  • Six of the 10 men named by the victim's family have been arrested
  • The father was killed and his son was critically injured

Bisara, India (CNN)By and large, Hindus and Muslims live side-by-side in relative peace across India. But every now and then, the calm is punctured by moments of madness — and deadly violence. The sleepy, dusty, mostly Hindu village of Bisara, near the country's capital, became such a place this week.

According to eyewitness accounts, this blood-curdling sequence of events unfolded in a matter of minutes Monday night: A Hindu temple announced sacrilege; villagers formed an angry mob; and normal people, fueled by each other's presence, became assailants.
    A Muslim blacksmith, Mohammad Akhlaq, and his son Danish were battered by people who knew them. The father died, and his son was has been hospitalized with critical injuries.
    What triggered the bloody assault? A rumor that a cow was slaughtered in that nondescript neighborhood, home to mostly Rajputs — a high-ranking valiant Hindu caste meaning "sons of the kings."
    In Hinduism, cows are deemed sacred and their killing a sin.

    'It was blood all over my son's face. He is gone'

    "Two young men came to me that night and asked me to announce on the loudspeaker that there's a carcass of a cow lying nearby," the temple priest, Sukhdas Mahatma, told CNN.
    "They pressured me to make that announcement. What could I do? I had to make that announcement," he said, moving his fingers on his flowing white beard.