The meat sample collected from the house of Mohammad Akhlaq, who was lynched by a mob in Dadri’s Bishahra village in September last year, has been confirmed to be “beef” by a forensic lab in Mathura.

The latest forensic report was released to the media by the defence lawyers on Tuesday.

According to the report prepared by the University of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Mathura, the meat “was of a cow or its progeny.” The new finding contradicts an earlier report by the Greater Noida veterinary officer that the meat was “of a goat or its progeny.” Cow slaughter is banned in Uttar Pradesh, but beef consumption is not.

Akhlaq (52) and his son Danish (22) were dragged out of their home on September 28 last year and brutally assaulted by a mob, following rumours that they had slaughtered a cow. While Akhlaq succumbed to his injuries, Danish survived. Eighteen people, including the son and relatives of a former BJP leader, were arrested.

Family rejects report

The family of Akhlaq has rejected the new forensic report. “Earlier, the Dadri police said it was mutton. Now you are saying it is beef,” said Chand Mohammad, Akhlaq’s brother. “This report is politically motivated.”

‘Report irrelevant’

Yusuf Saifi, lawyer for Akhlaq’s family, told The Hindu that the forensic report of the Mathura lab was irrelevant to the case. “It has been the unanimous view of the prosecution and also of the investigative agencies that the ongoing criminal case is about murder. The fresh forensic report will have no bearing on that case.”

Defence lawyer Ram Saran Nagar said the latest forensic report was sought by his team as it was crucial to the case. It would be used to neutralise the criminal culpability of the accused, as Akhlaq was lynched by “an emotionally charged mob.”

“Cow slaughter is an extremely emotional issue for the Hindus. Our argument is that when the mob saw beef, it became extremely agitated. Our clients are innocent individuals who have been framed by the police,” said Mr. Nagar, former president of the Gautam Buddh Nagar Bar Association.

“Now we will try to press for the charges to be brought down from Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, which is related to murder, to Section 304, culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Later, we will apply for bail for the accused,” he said.

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