A middle-aged man in India was beaten to death by an angry mob over his son's friendship in another community.

The incident took place in the Bareilly district of the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday night. The victim, identified as Mohammad Sartaj, 50, was lynched while trying to protect his son, Shahrukh Sheikh, 20, who fell to the wrath of their neighbors for "talking to friends from another community," Times of India reported.

Shahrukh, an embroidery worker, was attacked and badly beaten up while he was talking to his friends. When Mohammad tried to break up the fight, he was beaten unconscious by his son's attacker and later succumbed to his injuries after being rushed to a hospital.

In his statement, Shahrukh identified the culprits and said that the attack was unprovoked.

"I was having a conversation with two friends outside my house when my neighbor Rashid Khan, Ashu Khan, Fayyam, and Fazil--started hurling abuses at us and thrashed us for no reason. My friends somehow managed to escape. When my father came to rescue me, he too was mercilessly beaten up with hockey sticks," Shahrukh told TOI.

Shahrukh said that it was due to his brother's profession that people from other communities visit their houses.

"My family never raised any objection to their visit but our neighbor Rashid had threatened us with dire consequences if we did not break ties with them. We want strict action against all the accused," Daud, Shahrukh's elder brother, told Telangana Today.

A police officer said that four men were booked under culpable homicide charges following Sartaj's death.

In February 2022, a man in central Pakistan was lynched by a mob for burning the pages of the Koran.

Representational image of a handcuffed man. SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images