Smouldering vehicles are seen following mob violence at Chingravati village in Bulandhahr, India's northern Uttar Pradesh state, on December 3, 2018. - A violent mob rampaged through villages in northern India on December 3 after the discovery of suspected cow carcasses, setting vehicles ablaze and murdering two people including a senior police officer. AFP

NEW DELHI: A senior police officer and another man were killed on Monday in violent protests over reports of a slaughtered cow, an animal sacred in Hindu culture, in India's Uttar Pradesh state.

A crowd angered over what they believed was the slaughter of the cow threw stones and torched vehicles outside a police station. The officer died from gunshot wounds, district magistrate Anuj Jha told Reuters.

Earlier, police had said the officer was stoned to death and the other man died from gunshot wounds.

"Villagers complained after they found a dead cow, and took to the streets to protest. They blocked a road with a tractor and pelted stones," he said.

So-called cow vigilantes from India's Hindu majority have attacked and killed a number of Muslims involved in transporting cattle to slaughterhouses in recent years. However, the exact circumstances of Monday's protests were not clear.

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