(Left) Mishri Khan Baloch, who was lynched by cow vigilantes (Right) Grieving family members of Baloch with his body. Photos by special arrangement.


In the month of May, as politicians were out campaigning and hate speech was on the rise a 40 year old breadwinner of a family was beaten to death in Gujarat on May 23.

Misri Khan Baloch was one such victim of a crime which local rights groups and family of the dead have called a targeted lynching. Among the accused are Akhiraj Singh and other men who are reportedly associated with cow vigilante groups and hold a previous record as well.

The incident took place while he was transporting buffaloes in a pickup van when a group of men who are reportedly cow vigilantes stopped the van by throwing iron nails on the ground and puncturing the tires. After it stopped they first tried to forcibly get money from him and his companion, demanding rupees 2 lakh. After they said they don’t have money, the men started beating them. The driver of the van managed to escape.

However, the situation became deadly for Misri as a mob gathered around the vehicle and started beating him up. He was beaten with iron rods and sticks on his head which soon led to his death.

The police, as per report by Indian Express, have refused to recognise it as a case of mob lynching, with Banaskantha Superintendent of Police Akshayraj Makwana, saying, “This incident is not a mob lynching. For an incident to be considered a mob lynching, it would need to have a communal aspect. It appears that the accused did not intend to murder but rather intimidate the deceased.”

The Indian Express has noted that Akheraj, one of the accused, has also been implicated in a similar matter of mob lynching in Banaskantha in July 2023 when a Muslim man named Umaid Baloch was similarly beaten by cow vigilantes, one of whom is a co-accused here.

This story was originally published in sabrangindia.in. Read the full story here.