NEW DELHI (Reuters) – An Indian court on Wednesday acquitted six men of the killing of a 55-year-old Muslim dairy farmer, citing lack of evidence, raising questions over the prosecution’s failure to make its case despite videos of a crowd beating him in the street.
The 2017 attack on Pehlu Khan and his two sons in the western state of Rajasthan by a suspected mob of cow vigilantes caused public outrage and demands for swift action.
Videos shot on mobile phones showed Khan begging for mercy as the crowd set upon him after stopping his truck with cows in the back. He died but his sons survived.
In Hindu-majority India, many consider cows sacred and killing the animal is outlawed in most states.
Since 2014 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power, Muslim organizations have complained about Muslims coming under attack amid a resurgence in right-wing Hindu activism.