UDUPI (TIP): A BJP worker was killed by members of a right-wing vigilante group here on Aug 17, Wednesday night, the first such attack on a member of the saffron party by so-called cow protectors.

Praveen Poojary, 28 and 20-year-old Akshay Devadiga were surrounded by more Praveen Poojary than 17 people who stopped their vehicle carrying cattle near Hebri town.

“Hindu Jagarana Vedike members accused them of taking the calves to a slaughter house… Poojary succumbed to injuries at a hospital in Brahmavara,” Udupi district superintendent of police KT Balakrishna said, according to PTI.

Protection of cow, regarded by Hindus as a holy animal, has become a political issue after vigilantes —several of them linked to Sangh Parivar organisations— have attacked and killed people on suspicion of killing the animal or consuming its meet.

On Thursday, a town in Western Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat district turned tense after nearly 150kg of suspected cow meat was seized and two Muslims, including a 60-year-old woman, were arrested.