RDS_190601 Four beaten up for eating meat in India-1559371997913
Screengrab of the video that went viral online. The four workers could been seen cowering and crying as the mob beat them and hurled abuses Image Credit: Twitter

Dubai: Another incident of mob attack came to light in India after a video went viral on Twitter showing a group of men beating up four workers sitting and eating food.

In the video, which according to news reports was from the city of Bareilly in India, the four workers could be seen cowering as a group of men beat them with belts and shoes . The mob also hurled abuses at the group, asking them what they were eating. One of the workers could be heard apologising with his hands folded and saying that the meat they were eating was of a buffalo. According to reports, the men were sitting near a place of worship.

“Four unidentified labourers had been hired for construction work at a residence. During lunch break, they had gone to a nearby devasthan (a miniature shrine with idols of gods usually near shady trees) to have a meal sitting under the tree,” a report by news agency IANS quoted police officer Dhananjay Singh as saying.

SP Rural says, "A case has been registered, all accused will be arrested shortly."

Why the attack?

In India, the slaughter and cows is banned in certain states. The current Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Aditynath, took strong action against illegal slaughterhouses and implemented a blanket ban on cow smuggling soon after he was elected to office in 2017. This led to several incidents of lynching by ‘cow vigilantes’ over the years.

What action was taken?

According to a news report by Indian Express, the Bareilly police took cognizance of the incident Friday and registered an FIR against four identified persons and three unidentified persons.

News service IANS quoted police sources as saying that two of the four labourers were from the minority community and that could have been a provocation for the attack. The victims told reporters that they were having a vegetarian meal when the youths arrived and started beating them up.

Bareilly Senior Superintendent of Police Muniraj G said the police had registered an FIR against Adesh Valmiki and Manish and four unidentified men. Two teams have been set up to nab the accused who are absconding.

Social media outcry

The incident was shared by several users online who were upset with the rise in hate crimes recently.

Tweep @PJkanojia shared the video and wrote: “Goons of Hindutva brigade attacked Muslims labourers, when they were having food. They were thrashed with belt and shoes. The terrorist attack took place in Bareilly’s Bahedi Thana. This is the signal from RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, right-wing, Hindu nationalist party] that more such attack would take place and Muslim will be targeted.”

Another Twitter user @Khushbookhan_ tagged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP CM Yogi Adityanath and wrote: “Now Bareilly!! Since May 23, numerous incidents of lynchings took place in different cities of India, now four Muslim workers were beaten by Hindu extremist on the false allegation of eating beef, is this new India???