NEW DELHI: A violent mob rampaged through villages in northern India on Monday after the discovery of suspected cow carcasses, setting vehicles ablaze and murdering two people including a senior police officer. Police fired shots in the air as hundreds of villagers, incensed over the death of the sacred animals, pelted stones at officers sent to quell the violence just 130kms from New Delhi.
Anand Kumar, an additional director general of Uttar Pradesh state police, said word spread quickly in Bulandshahr district when carcasses believed to be cows were found dumped near a village. “These were suspected cow carcasses and the villagers were angry about it,” Kumar told reporters.
“There were around 400 people from three neighbouring villages. They indulged in heavy stone pelting and arson. Police baton-charged and tried to bring the situation under control. Police resorted to firing in the air to control the crowd.”
Subodh Kumar Singh, a police inspector, and a local villager were killed in the violence. It is not yet clear how they died. Police have launched an investigation and said post-mortem examinations would be conducted.
Woman set on fire
Two men accused of trying to molest a 20-year-old woman in northern India set her on fire two days later after she lodged a complaint with police, authorities and her family said.
The woman was in a field near her home in the Sitapur district of Uttar Pradesh state when the men, both neighbours and known to her family, accosted her and tried to drag her away, her brother Vinod Kumar told Reuters.
She bit their hands and managed to break free and escape, and her father filed a complaint with police same day, he said. When no action resulted, the family lodged a second complaint.
The next day, the two men returned to the field where she was working, doused her with kerosene and set her on fire, regional police superintendent Prabhakar Chaudhary said. She suffered burns to 40 per cent of her body and was hospitalised.
Chaudhary said her suspected attackers were arrested and three policemen suspended for dereliction of duties.