Amid a spate of incidents of cattle-related hate crimes, a 20-year-old was beaten to death in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district over suspicions of stealing a buffalo. The incident occurred when the deceased, Shahrukh Khan, and three others stepped out late on Tuesday night in Bholapur Hadoliya village, only to be ambushed by around 50 villagers accusing them of trying to steal a buffalo.
Khan, who worked as a tailor in Dubai and was home for Eid, was later admitted to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries during treatment. However, the police had reportedly claimed that Khan overdosed on drugs and was a “regular user”.
Speaking to NDTV on Wednesday, Superintendent of Police (City) Abhinandan Singh said, “The villagers informed us about the incident. We took the man to the hospital. It seems he had overdosed on drugs. He was a regular user.”
However, a post-mortem report later confirmed that Khan had died due to severe beating with internal injuries to his kidneys and liver. The SP later confirmed to NDTV that it was a case of mob lynching. He said that while the other three managed to escape by jumping into a pond, Khan, who couldn’t swim, was left behind and killed, the report added.
Meanwhile, Khan’s family has refuted the allegations of buffalo theft, adding that he was “self-sufficient”, having worked in Dubai and other places in the Gulf.
Khan’s brother has now filed a complaint against 25 unnamed persons and three of his associates. The other side, which alleged buffalo theft, has also reportedly filed an FIR. No arrests have been made so far.