But it wasn’t an isolated case.
According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), Hindu vigilante groups have killed dozens of people in recent years, many of them Muslims, for allegedly slaughtering or transporting cows — an animal that is considered sacred by many Hindus.
The attacks have sparked concern about the spread of violent Hindu nationalism since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his right wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014.
Critics say the presence of a Hindu nationalist government in Delhi has encouraged vigilantism by their hardline supporters against cattle traders, especially Muslims, a minority in India. Even minority groups within the Hindu community, such as lower caste Hindus previously known as “untouchables,” have faced violence from hardline nationalists.
“There is fear. There was one incident and so we fear that there will be another,” said Suraj Pal, a farmer in Khan’s village, Kolgaon.