India Kashmiri students 'attacked' over beef rumours

A Hindu at a demonstration in support of the cow slaughter ban bill passed in the Karnataka state Legislative Assembly in Bangalore on July 20, 2010. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Hindus, who comprise 80% of India's 1.2bn population, consider cows holy

Four Kashmiri students were allegedly beaten up at a private university in northern India over rumours that they were cooking beef in their hostel room.

The police intervened and defused the situation, Indian media reports said.

Most states ban cow slaughter as the animal is considered sacred by India's majority Hindu community.

Last year, a 50-year-old Muslim man was lynched by a Hindu mob in Uttar Pradesh over false rumours that his family had been storing and consuming beef.

And in January, police in Madhya Pradesh state arrested members of a Hindu group for attacking a Muslim couple travelling in a train on suspicion that they were carrying beef.

The latest incident took place on Monday at the Mewar University in the northern state of Rajasthan.

Indian media reports said the students had been beaten, and some Hindu activists came to the campus and shouted slogans, but police were called in quickly and the situation did not escalate further.

The meat was sent for forensic tests, reports quoting a police officer said.

The university said it had students from different parts of the country and that "small scuffles" sometimes occurred.

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