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.
Fifty-two-year-old Ikhlaq and his son Danish were attacked by a mob at Bisada village in Dadri over rumours that they had slaughtered a cow in September last year.
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Ikhlaq had died of injuries at a hospital, while his son survived with a fractured skull. The incident sparked a nationwide debate over intolerance and beef politics. It also triggered a chain of protests across the country, with prominent writers, film-makers and scientists returning their awards.
Police had sent a sample of the meat from his home to a Mathura laboratory for forensic tests to check if it was beef. Eating beef is not illegal in Uttar Pradesh, where Dadri is located, although the slaughter of cows is banned.
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The police said they had asked for the forensic report for the purpose of their investigation. “We are investigating the case of Ikhlaq’s murder and not cow slaughter. Sending the meat to forensic test was to establish the motive behind the incident,” said a police official on condition of anonymity.
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In an initial report last year, a local government veterinarian said that the flesh “looks like mutton”.
A fast-track court recently allowed the lawyers of the suspects who allegedly lynched Ikhlaq to get a copy of the forensic report. The report of the forensic test was submitted to the fast-track court in April.
The court rejected the application of the public prosecutor who had objected to the disclosure of the report.
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The police have arrested eighteen people, including two juveniles, in the case so far and a chargesheet has been filed against them.