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Indian Lab Develops Rapid 'Beef Detection Kits'

A demonstrator holds placards during a protest against what the demonstrators say recent mob lynching of Muslims and Dalits who were accused of possessing beef, in Ahmedabad, India, July 9, 2017.

A government-run laboratory in India announced Monday that is has developed a portable kit which can determine whether a sample contains beef in 30 minutes.

The technology will be used in a number of police departments to minimize arrests and detentions of people suspected of selling or eating beef, which is banned in several states as cows are considered sacred by many members of India's Hindu majority.

Currently, it can take days for laboratory results to determine the presence of beef in a sample, often leaving innocent people in jail awaiting results.

The new portable devices developed by the Directorate of Forensic Science Laboratories, are priced at roughly $120 each.

The announcement comes as vigilante murders of suspected beef traders has risen sharply in India.

"Not in My Name" demonstrations denouncing rising intolerance and calling on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to condemn increased attacks against Muslims and low-caste Hindus for trading or eating beef were held across India last month.

Prime Minister Modi has since condemned the violence, saying that killing people on the pretext of protecting cows is illegal. But many fear that vigilantes have been empowered by his right-wing Hindu nationalist party since its election in 2014.