Villagers in India’s Jharkand state tied a Muslim man to a tree and beat him to death for being in love with a Hindu woman.
The deceased, identified as Mohammad Shakil, was reportedly in a relationship with a Hindu woman for over a year, Hindustan Times reported on Friday.
The couple met at Gumla Town for the Ram Navami procession on Wednesday when on his way back Shakil was assaulted by a group in woman’s neighbourhood.
He was tied to a tree and beaten for hours, the woman was quoted by police as saying. Shakil succumbed to his injuries on Thursday.
Police have arrested three people over the killing and lodged an FIR against unidentified people. “Though investigation is on, we were told by the villagers that the boy had been asked earlier not to meet the girl and never visit the village,” said a police official.
The killing came amid growing communal violence in India with the state trying to fan tensions on both sides by provocative measures.
The ruling party, BJP, has been advocating laws for protection of cows – a sacred animal in Hinduism – following which hardliners have formed cow vigilantes groups, and are attacking Muslims found eating or transporting the animal.
Earlier this week, a Muslim was killed by a group of Hindu men who attacked his vehicle transporting cows in Rajasthan’s Alwar district.