Mohammad Ikhlaq, 52, and his son Danish, 20, were dragged from their home in the village of Bisada in India on Sept. 28 and beaten with sticks and bricks after rumors circulated that Mohammad, who is Muslim, had slaughtered a cow and eaten beef.
Eating beef is forbidden in Hinduism, the major religion of India, and killing cows is illegal in Uttar Pradesh, the state where the attack occurred. Mohammad was killed by the mob and Danish remains in critical condition. The family claims that they never ate any beef and meat in their home has been sent for forensic testing.
The mob “dragged my father and brother out, pulling them by the hair,” said Shaista Ikhlaq, Mohammad’s daughter, told the New York Times. “My father’s head was smashed. His lips tore and his teeth were broken as they beat him with bricks and sticks.”
Less than a week before the attack, a slaughtered cow was found near an electrical transformer. When a priest announced the discovery to about 100 local residents, someone in the crowd claimed Mohammad was responsible.
Shaista and her mother were also targeted in the attack before the mob’s attention focused on Mohammad and Danish.
“What we want is justice,” she said. “This was preplanned. If they suspected we had slaughtered a cow, why did they not file a police complaint against us with the proof? We would have happily taken the punishment as laid out in the law. But who gave them the right to kill my father?”
So far, six people have been arrested in connection with the killing, India Today reported. Police are seeking four other suspects.