18/08/2017 8:27 PM IST | Updated 18/08/2017 8:29 PM IST

'Gau Rakshaks' Beat Up 7 Muslim Men In Bihar On Beef Rumours, Police Arrests Victims For 'Hurting Religious Sentiments'

Wait, what?

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In another incident of cow vigilantism, it is being reported that seven Muslim men were thrashed by self-appointed gau rakshaks or cow vigilantes in Bihar.

The New Indian Express reports that a mob of more than 50 people at Bihar's Dumra village barged into the home of Mohammad Shahabuddin on Thursday to check if he had beef. They alleged that Shahabuddin had killed a cow and eaten beef the night before.

The Dumra village is located in the West Champaran district.

This incident comes close on the heels of an incident where three men were beaten up in the state on suspicion of transporting beef.

The newspaper reports that Shahabuddin and his neighbours and other people from the community in the village were locked up in a room inside Shahabuddin's home and beaten up with sticks.

Another report by NDTV says that when the police arrived stones were thrown at them, but the people who were arrested were the victims.

Police officers handling the case have said that the victims have been arrested for hurting religious religious sentiments.

Sanjay Kumar Jha, one of the police officers, told NDTV, "Initially our main task was to defuse the situation and it was due to large deployment of police force that no untoward incident took place as mobs were descending from other villages also."

The news channel reports that the attackers were not arrested because there was no complaint registered against them.

Earlier this month, a truck driver and two others were thrashed in Bihar's Bhojpur district on the suspicion of carrying cow meat in a truck.

The Hindu had reported that the mob that beat up the three were led by alleged Banjrang Dal activists on National Highway 84 in Ranisagar area of Shahpur in the Bhojpur district.

Even then the victims, rather than the perpetrators were arrested.

The police had said that they were taken into custody to protect them from the mob, however the victims were also interrogated to ascertain whether they were actually carrying beef.

At a time when vigilante mobs have been attacking Muslim men across the country for carrying beef, it has also become a trend for the victims to be arrested.

Thursday's incident is the second such incident since the BJP-JD(U) government came to power in the state.

It comes despite several leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, having said that laws could not be broken in the name of cow protection.

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