Demonstrators take part in a protest against cow-vigilante violence in Mumbai on July 3, 2017. Photo: Indranil Mukherjee

A 32-year-old man was thrashed by a group of men on Wednesday evening in Bharsingi village in rural Nagpur for allegedly carrying beef, according to media reports.

The victim, Salim Ismail Shah, was returning to his hometown after buying meat when he was attacked.

“It was not beef but mutton, I told them, but they still beat me,” Shah said. “What happened with me is wrong, those who beat me should be punished.”

Shailesh Balkawade, Nagpur rural superintendent of police, told The Hindu, “Salim Ismail Shah, a resident of Katol town, was returning to his town when five to eight men stopped him at Bharsingi bus stop and asked him to get off his two-wheeler and show what was he carrying. When he resisted, the men attacked him.”

A Video of the attack, which soon went viral on social media, shows the cow vigilantes accusing Shah of killing a cow.

Meanwhile, according to the Times of  India, police have arrested four suspects: Moreshwar Tandulkar, Ashwin Uikey, Rameshwar Taywade and Jagdish Chaudhari. They have also booked Shah for allegedly possessing beef despite his insistence that it was mutton.

A meat sample has been sent for testing to a forensic lab in Nagpur.

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