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Modi slams cow vigilantes

AHMEDABAD, INDIA:  Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday condemned a string of murders targeting minorities under the pretext of protecting cows, which are considered sacred by many Hindus, after critics accused the government of turning a blind eye.

Mr Modi's remarks - his first on vigilantism in nearly a year - came shortly before reports of a fresh killing and just days after a Muslim teenager was stabbed to death on a train after being accused of carrying beef. "Killing people in the name of Gau Bhakti (cow worship) is not acceptable. This not something Mahatma Gandhi would approve," Mr Modi said.

India has been reeling from a spate of vigilante murders in recent months, especially targeting Muslims for allegedly killing cows or consuming beef.

Hours after Mr Modi's comments, a Muslim man was killed by a mob for allegedly carrying beef in central Jharkhand state, a Press Trust of India report said. "Around 30 people surrounded (a) van...dragged out the driver of the vehicle... and thrashed him, injuring him seriously," said Mr Kishore Kaushal, superintendent of Jharkhand police. The man later died. - AFP

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