Some policemen in India s Mumbai city subjected two Muslim boys to severe torture and asked them to go to Pakistan, the Indian media reported on Monday.
The youths, Asif Sheikh and Danish Sheikh (both 19), had alleged that they were thrashed by police inspector Kedar Pawar and others, who were on night duty, in Bandra police station. “Pawar also asked them to leave the country while dubbing them as Pakistani agents,” a relative of Asif claimed.
On the other hand, a police officer at Bandra police station said the youths were picked from Bandra Reclamation at 2:30 AM on Saturday when they were found fighting with each other. When asked how Asif and Danish suffered injuries, the officer said the inquiry will reveal everything. A complaint in this regard was lodged by Asif s uncle Omar. Political opponents have accused Narendra Modi s party of looking to create religious tension ahead of a crucial electoraltest this month in the northern state of Bihar. Earlier on Wednesday, a group of local villagers attacked a Muslim man, known only as Noman, and four other men in Himachal Pradesh after seeing them transporting cattle in a truck.
Noman was beaten to death, while the other four men, who survived the attack, were charged with animal smuggling and cow slaughter. Two weeks ago a Muslim man died after being kicked and beaten by a group of Hindus over rumors he ate beef in the town of Dadri, 50 km (30 miles) from the capital, New Delhi. Cows are considered holy by many, but not all, Hindus, who form a majority of India s population of 1.2 billion. Beef is eaten by Muslims and Christians, as well as many lower-caste Hindus. Tougher measures to safeguard cows are often used as a rallying call by politicians seeking to win Hindu votes, sometimes leading to Hindu-Muslim riots. India is the world s largest exporter of beef and its fifth biggest consumer, but cow slaughter is forbidden in some regions, including the state of Himachal Pradesh.