New Delhi: A 24-year-old Assamese man in Mumbai was allegedly heckled by some cow vigilantes on the suspicion of carrying a bag made out of cow hide.

The incident, which seems more like a xenophobic accusation under the guise of protecting cows, took place in Andheri, Mumbai where the man was initially questioned by an auto-rickshaw driver.

Barun Kashyap shared his ordeal on social media where he said that he was targeted because of his appearance. Working as a creative director, Barun was apparently travelling in an auto-rickshaw when the driver started asking him questions.

“He was quite curious and intrigued by my long hair and nose piercing right from the beginning and asked me about my native place. He stopped at a traffic signal and started looking at my leather bag,” Kashyap wrote on a Facebook post.

The auto-rickshaw driver, who was bent on proving that the bag was made of cow hide, touched the bag and concluded that the bag was made out of cow hide. Despite Kashyap’s assurance that the bag was made out of camel hide, the driver did not listen to him.

“Not satisfied with the reply, the auto-driver moved forward and stopped the auto near a small temple on the way to my office. Before I could say anything, I saw the driver signalling at three men sitting in front of a temple, smoking. The three men then approached the auto and started conversing in Marathi, which I could not decipher. They asked me to step out of the auto which I refused. When I was busy protesting, one of the men came to the other side of auto and started checking my bag. One of them asked my full name. He looked at the other two and said something in Marathi out of which I could only understand the word ‘Brahmin’. Maybe hearing Kashyap, they thought I am a Brahmin and left the spot,” wrote Barun.

Barun has lodged a complaint with the police regarding the matter.

Incidences of cow vigilantism have risen steeply despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s censure of the self-anointed activists.