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Emboldened by Modi's ascent, cow vigilantes deny Muslims their livelihood

Interviews with nationalist Hindu leaders and militia members across the country reveal an impatience for Muslims to demonstrate obeisance to the Hindu majority

Cow vigilantism
File photo of members of a Hindu nationalist vigilante group established to protect cows with animals they claimed to have saved from slaughter | Photo: Reuters

The beating that ended Pehlu Khan’s life was televised nationwide. Cell phone video captured a group of men punching and slinging Khan around the middle of a road in north India, stomping on him and then slamming the 55-year-old farmer down on concrete as he begged for mercy. Khan had been stopped by the lynch mob of right-wing Hindus as he rode home from a market in April with two cows and two calves in the back of a truck. The crowd was furious at the sight of a Muslim transporting animals held sacred by Hindus, according to the accounts of his sons and two fellow ...