A horrific video of an Indian Muslim being brutally attacked and killed by a group of 11 men armed with swords and sticks has caused anger on social media after it was claimed the victim was a Muslim bodybuilder who was killed by Hindu extremists.

Others including the Indian media claimed it was fake news and the man killed was a Hindu gangster who was wanted by the police.

The attack which took place in Maharashtra state has gone viral on social media and prompted a debate on the victim’s identity.

CCTV footage (below) shows a group of about 11 men pulling the victim onto the street in public view and striking him with swords and sticks. They continue to hit him even as he lies unconscious and accumulated rainwater around him turns red with blood.

According to reports in Indian media, the victim, whom police identified as Rafiquddin, allegedly a gangster, was having tea at a roadside stall in Dhule, around 280 km from Mumbai, when he was attacked.

But according to others including independent journalists the victim was the famous Muslim bodybuilder Navid Pathan.

The victim was struck 27 times with swords before the attackers escaped on motorcycles and scooters. Police claimed that he was a criminal out on bail, who had more than 30 cases of extortion, rape and murder against him, and that the murder was possibly a result of gang rivalry.

Social media users identify him as Naveed Pathan, a bodybuilder, who had participated in many contests.

A Facebook page called “We want justice for Naveed Pathan‘ also termed the murder a religion-based attack, and a Pakistani bodybuilder too posted a video against the barbaric incident.