The forensic report confirming that the meat recovered from Dadri lynching victim Mohammad Ikhlaq’s fridge was of ‘cow or its progeny’ has sparked off a fresh debate.
One of the counsels of the accused in the Dadri lynching case accessed the report of the forensic investigation laboratory, UP University of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry, Mathura, on Tuesday.
The report concludes: “On the basis of chemical analysis, the sample belongs to cow or its progeny.”
Legal experts say cow and its progeny are protected under the Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955.
“The Act defines beef as the flesh of cow. The Act prohibits the slaughter of cow and its progeny, be it bull, ox, cow or calf. The Act permits the slaughter of only infected cows or of those for government approved research,” said Mange Ram Bhati, a legal expert and counsel at Surajpur district court.
What the law says
The UP Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955, states the slaughter and consumption of cow or its progeny is prohibited. Anyone found violating the law can get a maximum imprisonment of seven years and/or be fined up to `10,000. The punishment is the same for anyone who attempts to slaughter a cow.
However, the Act allows the ‘import’ of sealed cow meat for serving it to ‘bona fide’ passengers on trains or aeroplanes.
Who can eat cow meat in UP
According to the law, foreign nationals can be served imported meat. Also, Indian nationals, who have been medically advised to consume cow meat, can import it for consumption. People in these two categories are called bona fide. For others, the slaughter and consumption of cow meat is prohibited.
However, slaughtering and consuming buffalo meat is legal in Uttar Pradesh.
Difference between buffalo and cow
Experts say the meat is identified through the profiling of the animal’s genes with the help of certain chemicals.
“The forensic test of flesh is basically a test of genes. Every forensic expert has a record of genes of different animals. Through certain chemicals, the scientists profile the genes and then match it with the records to identify the animal. It may take some time depending on the condition of the flesh,” said Jagjit Chaudhary, a private forensic expert.