Indian policeman killed amid ‘cow slaughter’ protest

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Indian policeman killed amid 'cow slaughter' protest

Image copyright Courtesy: Sumit Sharma
Image caption Police officer Subodh Kumar Singh died in clashes over alleged cow slaughter

A police officer has been killed in mob violence over alleged cow slaughter in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Members of right-wing Hindu groups clashed with police when the protest turned violent on Monday.

The police retaliated with a baton charge after the mob allegedly set fire to the police station and several vehicles parked outside.

An 18-year-old protester was killed and another policeman was injured.

Police in Bulandshahr district, where the clashes occurred, have deployed additional personnel.

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Cows are considered holy by India's majority Hindu population. Many states have actively started enforcing bans on cow slaughter after the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed India's federal government in 2014.

So-called cow vigilantism has been on the rise and has led to several killings in the past few years.

Image copyright Yogesh Kumar Singh
Image caption Members of right-wing Hindu groups allegedly set fire to the police station and vehicles parked outside

"The local police got information about cow slaughter after which they immediately started investigating the matter," Anuj Jha, a top district official, told reporters.

"But soon after, people in the area blocked the streets and started pelting the police with stones."

Mr Jha added that police officer Subodh Kumar Singh died in the clashes that followed.

It is unclear where the alleged cow slaughter occurred.

Police said they were investigating the incident to find out who instigated the violence.

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