GREATER NOIDA: It’s beef, says a forensic report after tests on the meat found in a man’s home, who was lynched on suspicion of slaughtering a cow for a family feast in Dadri’s Bisada village last September.
Police maintained that the report is of no use in the investigation into the murder and assault.
“The matter is sub judice, so we can’t comment,” said Anurag Singh, the police deputy superintendent of Dadri, 50km from Delhi.
Fifty five-year-old Mohammad Ikhlaq was murdered by a mob and son Danish was gravely wounded while trying to save his father. The incident triggered national outrage over religious intolerance and a chain of protests across the country, with prominent writers, filmmakers and scientists returning their awards.
It has been alleged that the mob, which gathered following a public announcement from a nearby temple, attacked Ikhlaq even as family members kept screaming that the meat was not beef but mutton.
The family’s claim was corroborated by a preliminary report of a government veterinarian that said the flesh “looks like mutton”.
A day after the killing on September 28 last year, the state veterinary department sent 4kg of red meat seized from Ikhlaq’s home to a Mathura laboratory.
In the meantime, 19 people were named in a police FIR based on the statement of Ikhlaq’s daughter Shaista. Police arrested 18 of them but one was let off after it was confirmed that he was “not” in the village when the incident occurred.
The laboratory report was submitted in a sealed envelope to a fast-track court this April.
“We got the copy of the forensic report today in which it is mentioned that the sample was cow meat. Now we will discuss the future course of action,” said Ram Sharan Nagar, the counsel for the accused people, on Tuesday.
On May 17, the court allowed the counsel access to Shaista’s statement, copy of the forensic report and medical reports of Ikhlaq and 21-year-old Danish, who suffered a broken skull in the attack.
Eating beef is not illegal in Uttar Pradesh, where Dadri is located, though the slaughter of cows is banned.
Police also maintained that they are investigating Ikhlaq’s murder, not cow-slaughter. “The meat was sent for forensic test following the demands of the agitating villagers,” an officer said.
Ikhlaq family’s lawyer, Yusuf Saifi, said as much. “The matter is sub judice. The forensic report has nothing to do with the case of murder and assault.” The family was not happy either. “My brother is no more. I would like to request everyone not to politicise this issue anymore,” said Jaan Mohammad.