A Noida court on Thursday directed Uttar Pradesh police to file a case against the family of Dadri lynching victim Mohammad Akhlaq, following a petition filed by villagers, reported NDTV. Uttar Pradesh police had earlier refused to file a case of cow slaughter against Akhlaq’s family. However, villagers claimed they had seen Akhlaq’s brother Jaan Mohammad slitting a calf’s throat. Akhlaq was beaten to death in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, in September 2015 following rumours that he and his family had killed a calf and eaten beef during Eid festivities.
A forensic report in May said that the meat found in the victim’s house was that of a cow or its progeny. The report came months after an initial forensic report, filed last October, said Akhlaq’s family had eaten mutton, not beef. Uttar Pradesh police chief Javed Ahmed, however, had said the new report “does not diminish the case as murder is an offence”. Beef eating is not a crime in Uttar Pradesh, only cow slaughter is.
In May, police imposed Section 144 in the village fearing violence over their refusal to file an FIR against Akhlaq’s family. Some locals and members of Hindu religious groups reportedly also asked for the release of the 17 people accused of Akhlaq’s murder.