At least seven members of the Gauraksha Samiti thrashed a Muslim couple on suspicion of carrying beef in Madhya Pradesh, on Wednesday.
The assault, which took place in Khirkiya railway station in Harda district, is yet another manifestation of the frenzy over beef which has gripped the nation since last year. It is the latest in a string of such vigilante attacks.
According to the police, the gaurakshaks claimed to have recovered beef from the couple's bag. but However, the meat was held to be that of a buffalo after laboratory tests.
Two members of the samiti - Hemant Rajput and Santosh - have been arrested. They said they were acting on a tip-off. Nine local residents were also held for physical altercations with the right-wing activists.
43-year-old Mohammed Hussain and his 38-year-old wife Naseema Bano were on the way to their hometown in Harda after visiting an ailing relative in Hyderabad, according to the Indian Express.
"They pushed my wife around when she objected to our luggage being searched. We live in India and know what is wrong and right, we eat only goat meat. Besides, the black bag from which the meat was seized did not belong to us. Finally, a constable came to our rescue and saved my wife," said Hussain, according to the Express report.
"When some passengers objected to their luggage being turned upside down, the activists roughed them up before they started searching the bags kept near Naseema. When she objected, they pushed her towards the toilet. Then, I called a relative who lives near the station. He rushed over with other local residents and engaged in a scuffle with the samiti members," said Hussain.
In Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, 52-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq was murdered and his son Daanish grievously injured by a mob of at least 200 in September last year. The incident occurred over a rumour of beef consumption. The meat in question turned out to be mutton.