In a twist to the Bisada lynching case, a petitioner in the matter told the court that a villager saw victim Mohammad Ikhlaq’s brother Jaan Mohammad killing the cow.
Ikhlaq’s family’s lawyer rejected the claim as fabricated.
The petitioner is the man who had earlier sought registration of an FIR against Ikhlaq and his kin for allegedly slaughtering a cow.
Citing an “eyewitness account”, Surajpal Singh, 70, told a local court that Jaan Mohammad slaughtered the calf while Ikhlaq, his son Danish, mother Asgari, daughter Shaista, wife Ikraman and daughter-in-law Sona caught hold of the animal on Eid-ul-Zuha on September 25 last year.
“A local resident Prem Singh saw Jaan Mohammad slaughtering the calf,” Surajpal said in the court.
The counsel of Ikhlaq’s family, Yusuf Saifi, said the petitioner was not a witness in the case and the families of the accused were distorting facts to implicate his clients in a cow slaughter case.
“The petitioner claims the incident took place on September 25. If that is so, then why was the witness silent. They could have registered a case the same day but they waited till the night of September 28. This is a story and not reality. They are trying to frame the aggrieved family,” said Saifi.
Jaan Mohammad said he was not there.
“My family is innocent. However, I will cooperate with the police in the investigation. I have full faith in the judiciary and the police. I hope the investigation will unveil the truth,” he told HT.
In his petition, Surajpal said a local resident, Prem Singh, saw Ikhlaq’s family ‘sacrificing’ the calf on Eid-ul-Zuha but he was scared to tell anybody. He said on September 28, Ompal, Kancchi and Ramjilal saw Ikhlaq throwing the remains of an animal in a black polybag.
When they asked him about it, Ikhlaq confessed to killing the calf which was missing for two days, Surajpal said in the petition.
“Sanjay Rana, a local, informed the police about the incident at about 10.30 when a mob was beating up Ikhlaq and his son, Danish,” Surajpal said.
Meanwhile, the police have registered an FIR against Ikhlaq and six members of his family after a court ordered the cops to do so.
“An FIR under sections of prevention of cow slaughter Act was registered against Ikhlaq and six of his family members at Jarcha police station. The matter is being investigated,” said Pradeep Singh, in charge, Jarcha police station.
After the FIR, the families of the accused have decided to not to call a mahapanchayat of 144 villages. The gathering could have spelt trouble since the administration has barred such events to avoid tension.