Police were waiting for the forensic report to establish what meat was found in the refrigerator of Mohammad Ikhlaq of Dadri who was lynched on the suspicion of slaughtering a cow for a family feast in September.
Chief veterinary officer of Gautam Budh Nagar, Santosh Kumar, clarified on Monday that a preliminary report filed by a junior officer on September 29 was inconclusive on the meat, whether it was lamb or beef.
“Identification of flesh will be ascertained after forensic examination. In accordance with procedure, a report has to be sent along with the flesh sample for forensic tests,” he said, putting to rest speculation on the mutton-beef controversy in the mob murder that triggered national outrage over religious intolerance.
A report by the deputy veterinary officer with the Uttar Pradesh government was the one that accompanied the meat sample when it was sent for forensic test at a laboratory in Mathura. The laboratory report is still awaited.
Police said they attached the preliminary report along with the charge-sheet last week.
The forensic report of the meat found at Ikhlaq’s house will be submitted in court when an additional charge-sheet is filed, a senior police officer in Noida said.
The 55-year-old Ikhlaq of Bisada village in Dadri was lynched while son Danish was gravely wounded when he tried to save his father on the night of September 28.
Dadri DSP Anurag Singh denied having received any report from the veterinary department. “We are investigating the lynching case and what meat (whether mutton or beef) was found or consumed is not important for us. Since the charge-sheet is to be filed in 90 days from the date of incident, we filed it last week along with the preliminary report issued by the veterinary department on September 29,” he said.
On September 29, the veterinary department sent 4kg of red meat seized from Ikhlaq’s house for forensic test.
“The forensic report is awaited. We can’t assume anything. Any type of claims needs to be confirmed by forensic laboratory. Laboratory test is a procedure that will take its requisite time,” said NP Singh, district magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar.
The mob, which gathered following a public announcement from a nearby temple, attacked Ikhlaq and his son even as family members kept screaming that the meat was not beef but mutton.
The incident triggered a chain of protests across the country, with prominent writers, filmmakers and scientists returning their awards.
The charge-sheet in the case named 15 people, including Vishal Rana, the son of a local BJP leader.
(With agency inputs)