Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condemned attacks on cow traders and beef eaters that have largely targeted Muslims in his country.
Modi broke his silence on the matter by saying that killing people on the pretext of protecting cows is illegal.
Cows are considered sacred by many members of India's Hindu majority and the eating of beef is illegal in a number of states.
Modi's comments from Ahmedabad in his home state of Gujarat, came a day after thousands of protesters in various cities in India held "Not in My Name" demonstrations, denouncing rising intolerance and calling on the Prime Minister to condemn increased attacks against Muslims and low-caste Hindus for trading or eating beef.
Wednesday's citizens campaign to stop lynchings and mob violence was sparked by the killing of a Muslim teenager last week by about 20 men as he was returning home on a train with his brothers after shopping in New Delhi for the Eid festival.
Junaid Khan, 16, was stabbed after an altercation over the sharing of seats. But one of the men arrested said he attacked Khan and his brothers after he was told that they were beef eaters.