Eight months after Mohammad Akhlaq was beaten to death in Dadri following allegations of cow slaughter and beef consumption, a report issued Tuesday by a forensic lab in Mathura has stated that the meat sample recovered from outside the 50-year-old’s house belonged to a “cow or its progeny”.
“Result — On the basis of chemical analysis the sample belongs to cow or its progeny,” the report stated. A lawyer representing the administration, however, maintained that the report’s contents had no bearing on the case scheduled to be heard in Surajpur Court on June 6.
Addressed to the Chief Veterinary Officer, Veterinary Hospital, Dadri, Gautam Budh Nagar district, the report states that the meat sample was given to the lab on October 3 and it was analysed the same day.
“Defence lawyers want to see the report because they feel it would benefit their case. What the report discloses has no bearing on our case. A person was murdered and another grievously injured while others were attacked,” said Manoj Kumar Tevatia, advocate on the government panel at Surajpur Court.
When contacted, Kiran S, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Gautam Budh Nagar, said, “The issue is sub-judice now.”
A preliminary report dated September 29, 2015 given by the veterinary doctor at the Government Veterinary Hospital, Dadri had stated that “prima facially, it seems, that this meat belongs to goat progeny”. It had, however, asked the administration to take the samples to the forensic lab in Mathura “for final and confirm diagnosis”.
The FIR filed in the case invokes IPC sections of murder, rioting and criminal intimidation but not cow slaughter.
Lawyers representing the accused claimed that the contents of the report will add a new dimension to the case. “We had been demanding that the Mathura laboratory’s meat examination report be made public for some time. Now, that the report has been released, we can demand the addition of sections relating to cow slaughter and beef consumption in the case. We are working on a strategy,” said Ram Saran Nagar, one of the defence lawyers.
Akhlaq was beaten to death on September 28, 2015, by a mob following rumours that he and his family stored and consumed beef. Akhlaq’s 20-year-old son Mohammed Danish also received severe head injuries during the attack.
The attack on Akhlaq and his family took place in Bisara after an announcement about the family consuming beef was allegedly made at a local temple, police had said.
Six people were initially arrested by police and a chargesheet later filed against 15 people, including a local BJP leader’s son.