A Muslim driver was on Sunday night brutally assaulted by a group of villagers in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh on suspicion of carrying beef and smuggling cows in his pick-up van, The Times of India reported.

Videos on social media showed the driver, identified as Aamir, being beaten by two to three men with belts even as he is pleading with them to stop. Preliminary investigation said that Aamir was transporting animal carcasses as part of a village cleanliness drive of Nagar Panchayat Govardhan in the district, PTI reported.

“We found that Rameshwar Valmiki, a resident of the Govardhan area in Mathura, has a license from the district panchayat to dispose of animal carcasses,” said Martand Prakash Singh, superintendent of police, Mathura. “He had sent the vehicle from Mathura to a nearby district...Our initial inquiry has not found any cows or beef inside the vehicle.”

The villagers intercepted the vehicle in Raal village, the police said. Two first information reports have been filed in the case, The Times of India reported. One was based on the complaint filed by Aamir, while the other one was by Vikas Sharma, convenor of Gau Raksha Vibhag of Hindutva outfit Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

Sharma along with another man from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, identified as Balram Thakur, were beaten up the villagers when they reached the spot and were asking about the incident, according to PTI. The villagers mistook both of them to be Aamir’s associates.

The police have booked 16 people, including Sharma and Thakur, under Sections 147 (rioting), 307 (attempt to murder), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of the peace), among others of the Indian Penal Code based on Aamir’s complaint.

On Sharma’s complaint accusing villagers of attacking him, 14 identified people and 150 unidentified ones were booked under Indian Penal Code sections, according to The Times of India.

The police said the Muslim man has been admitted to the hospital for treatment.