On a cold morning in January, a car smashed into a van in Tauru, a small town in the northern Indian state of Haryana.

Inside the car were three young Muslim men: Waris, Nafiz and Shaukeen.

Waris is now dead. Nafiz is in jail. And Shaukeen is yet to come to terms with the horrors of the night.

Shaukeen alleges that his friend was beaten to death by a group of Hindu men after they spotted a cow trussed up in the back of the car.

The 26-year-old claims the cow belonged to Nafiz, who was taking it back to his home in Haryana from Bhiwadi district in neighbouring Rajasthan state. Shaukeen and Waris were accompanying him when they were chased by a group of cow vigilantes. These are Hindu men – mostly armed with sticks and other weapons – who keep a watch for vehicles transporting cattle to prevent cow slaughter, which is illegal in many Indian states.