Muslim women beaten in India over rumours of carrying beef

Suspected Hindu radicals in India's central state of Madhya Pradesh assaulted two Muslim women on suspicion that they were carrying beef, triggering an uproar in parliament on Wednesday.

Allegations of cow slaughter have inflamed communal tensions in India over the past months. Hindus, a majority in the country, regard cows as holy and their slaughter is banned in several Indian states.

Mobile phone videos broadcast on news channels showed activists slapping, kicking and abusing the women after they alighted from a train at a railway station in Mandsaur district on Tuesday.

The women were arrested. State home minister Bhupender Singh promised action against the activists, reportedly from Hindu Dal (group).

Last year, a 55-year-old Muslim man was beaten to death by a Hindu mob in northern India over rumors that he and his family were consuming beef. Recently, four men from a lower-caste community were also beaten for skinning a dead cow.

Attacks over alleged cattle-killing and beef-eating have been a focus of a campaign by Hindu activists. Muslims, the largest religious minority in India, make up an estimated 14 per cent of the country's 1.25 billion inhabitants.

Last update: Wed, 27/07/2016 - 11:00
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