Communal riot erupted in Uttar Pradesh's Mainpuri district on Friday following rumours of four men killing a cow. Reacting to the rumours, a mob set some vehicles on fire and attacked the four men, nearly lynching them, as per reports.
The men were reportedly seen skinning a cow and the rumour spread that they had slaughtered the animal. However, police officers said that the cow had died of natural causes and the men had been allowed by its owner to skin it.
However, a mob of more than 500 people went on a rampage demanding that the men be punished, and even attacked policemen when they refused to take action.
"The men were only removing the skin for sale to a tannery. Our initial probe shows that they had not killed the cow," IG of Agra zone DC Mishra told The Times of India.
According to the report, it was the son of the owner of the cow who spread the rumour about the cow slaughter and instigated the mob. The police have arrested 21 people so far.
The incident comes weeks after the lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh's Gautam Budh Nagar district by a mob that accused him of storing beef in his house. However, it was found to be mutton after forensic investigation.