Dadri lynching: Meat found in Ikhlaq’s fridge was beef, says lab

  • Abhishek Anand, Hindustan Times, Greater Noida
  • Updated: Jun 01, 2016 01:54 IST
The murder of a Muslim man, Mohamma Ikhlaq, over rumours he consumed beef had fuelled a fierce debate over the country’s rising intolerance towards religious minorities. (Burhaan Kinu /Hindustan)

A report prepared by a forensic laboratory has confirmed that the meat found in Dadri lynching victim Mohammad Ikhlaq’s house was from a “cow or its progeny”, documents accessed by Hindustan Times showed on Tuesday.

Police maintained that the report was of no use in the investigation into the murder and assault.

Read: Opinion: Beef it is, but what about the guardians of culture, Dadri killers?

“The matter is sub-judice, so we can’t comment,” said Anurag Singh, the police deputy superintendent of Dadri, 50km from Delhi.

The 55-year-old Ikhlaq was murdered by a mob on September 28 last year 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.

Read: Dadri lynching has raised troubling questions on India’s ‘secularity’

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 brutal killing, the state veterinary department sent 4kg of red meat seized from Ikhlaq’s home to a Mathura laboratory for forensic tests.

Read: Bisada lynching: Victim’s family shifted to Delhi Air Force station

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.

On May 17, the court allowed the counsel to access 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.

Read: Bisada tense as demand grows for release of 18 held for Dadri lynching

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.

The Ikhlaq family’s lawyer, Yusuf Saifi, said as much. “The matter is sub-judice. Moreover, the forensic report has nothing to do with the case of murder and assault.”

The family was not happy with the report. “My brother is no more. I would like to request everyone not to politicise this issue anymore,” said Jaan Mohammad.

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