The police in Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur district have filed a case against nearly two dozen people after a mob lynched a man and injured another on Monday evening, News18 reported. Residents said the lynching followed rumours of cow slaughter, but police have dismissed the claim.

Villagers in Bajhaida Khurd said they had heard of some people smuggling cows from farms to slaughter them. A mob went to find out and saw Qasim and Samayddin working in a farm in nearby Madapur village, and attacked them with sticks, reported The Hindu. Police reached the location and took the two men to a hospital, where Qasim was declared brought dead.

Police personnel were deployed in the area after residents of the two villages confronted each other, leading to communal tension. Villagers in Bajhaida Khurd said that Qasim was trying to smuggle cows. Samayddin’s family alleged that he was cutting grass for his cattle when the mob beat him up.

Hapur Superintendent of Police Sankalp Sharma rejected the claim that rumours of cow slaughter led to the incident. “The victim’s family has given us a written complaint, saying that the beating and the fight was triggered after a motorbike hit some people,” he told The Hindu. “This has nothing to do with cow slaughter rumours. Police are investigating the matter and we will take strict action against the culprits.”

The police have reportedly detained five people in connection with the incident.