Cows are considered a sacred animal to Hindus, with the slaughter of the animal often frowned upon.
The Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where the incident occurred, is one of a number of states in the country that has strict laws banning cow slaughter and the consumption of beef.
Since Mohammed Akhlaq was kicked and beaten to death, six people have been arrested in connection with the incident, with police searching for who started the rumour.
In addition, Akhlaq’s 22-year-old son has been seriously injured and hospitalised in the same attack.
The victim’s 18-year-old daughter, who survived the attack, told the Indian Express that the mob reached the family house after a declaration at a local temple.
She said: “A few minutes before they reached the house, there was a temple announcement alleging we had killed a cow. We did not know what the announcement was about. Before the announcement was finished, they reached our house and broke down the doors. They shouted abuse at us and alleged that we had beef in the house.”
Furthermore, police confiscated mutton from the family’s fridge for investigation.
According to the BBC, the beef ban has received criticism, with many questioning how the government decides what is on their plate.