The Azad Nagar police station in Malegaon are yet to receive a report from Bombay Veterinary Hospital on whether the meat seized on March 26 – the first seizure since the beef ban came into effect on March 4 – was beef or not.
The police said the delay is unprecedented and there has been no response from the lab since the samples were sent. Interestingly, the hospital has already submitted a report in a similar case registered with the Worli police station in Mumbai on May 12.
The investigating officer in the case, inspector MM Khan, said, “We registered the FIR after the seizure at Malegaon and eventually arrested the accused in the case. The relevant sections were added but the most important one in the case depends on the pending report. If the report states that the meat seized was beef, the accused can be jailed for up to five years.”
“The entire case depends on the report which is still awaited. How do we file the charge sheet without the report?” Khan said.
The accused in the case were remanded in police custody and released on bail.
The police said when the local doctors were collecting the meat samples during the panchnama, they said the meat was from an ox, but they cannot add the stringent section based on the perception of the panch.
Khan said the police will soon send a reminder to the hospital.
“We have been following the case but the report has to come from Mumbai for it to move forward. It has been more than two months and we will send a reminder once again. It was evident that the meat seized was bullock meat but we need the report to confirm it,” said additional superintendent of police (Malegaon) Sunil Kadasane.
HT had earlier reported that there is only one doctor in the state, Dr Suresh Jagdale, to conduct the analyses on the samples. “The hospital has many pending cases and this could be the reason for the delay,” Kadasane said.