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No evidence of cow slaughter by Akhlaq’s family: Police

Mohammad Akhlaq’s house in Dadri. File photo: Prashant Nakwe

Mohammad Akhlaq’s house in Dadri. File photo: Prashant Nakwe  

Despite visiting the house several times, investigating officials found no trace of animal remains and will close the case

Almost three months after the Uttar Pradesh police booked the family of Mohammad Akhlaq from Bishahra village for cow slaughter, officials investigating the case have concluded that there was no evidence to prove that a cow was ever slaughtered by Akhlaq and his family.

According to highly placed sources in the U.P. police, investigations in the case, conducted over two months, have not yielded any proof. The police is likely to close the case and file a closure report in the Surajpur Court. In July, the court had ordered an FIR against Akhlaq, his family and his younger brother Jan Mohammad and his daughter-in-law under the U.P. Cow Slaughter Act, 1955.

Akhlaq Ahmed Saifi or Mohammad Akhlaq was brutally beaten and lynched by his neighbours in Bishahra village in Dadri on September 28, 2015 over rumours that he and his family had stored and eaten beef.

Claims of villager

According to the complaint of one Surajpal, a resident of Bishahra, on Eid (September 25, 2015) around 12:30 p.m., Prem Singh, another villager, heard the scream of a calf from the house of Akhlaq’s brother. Prem Singh is said to have witnessed Akhlaq, his mother Asgari, his wife Ikraman, his son Danish and his daughter Sayasta holding the calf, which was lying on the floor. Akhlaq’s brother Jaan Mohammad then slaughtered the calf with a knife. Police later registered the statement of Surajpal.

However, no evidence was found by the forensic team to establish the alleged cow slaughter even after several visits to the village and the alleged site of the cow slaughter, Jan Mohammad’s house. “The forensic team collected the soil but no element of animal blood was found in the entire area,” said a police official in Jarcha police station where the case was registered on July 15.

According to the Circle Officer of the area, Anurag Singh, the police also did not find knives and other implements which could establish that a cow was slaughtered on the spot.

“There is no credible evidence in this case which takes us towards the side of arrest or charge sheet. Had there been even one solid shred of proof, we would have filed the charge sheet,” Mr. Singh told The Hindu.

He said for the U.P. Cow Slaughter Prevention Act, 1955, to be slapped and proven, it was important that the police recovers the knives used in slaughtering the cow, the blood, carcass and meat of the cow, among other things.

“But there is no knife in this case and neither was there any carcass or meat seized from the spot of the crime,” he added.

The members of the investigative team said that the police was preparing the closure report after through investigation so that no loopholes could be pointed out by the complainants in the case.

Besides, the police also highlighted strong inconsistencies in the complaint. “There are big loopholes in the version claimed by Surajpal. I do not want to highlight it to the media but we would make it part of the closure report,” said the police officer who is part of investigating team in this case.

Akhlaq’s family had approached the Allahabad High Court to quash the cow slaughter FIR. The case was being heard and the court stayed any possible arrest of the family in the case till the conclusion of probe.

The family had also alleged that a fabricated case of cow slaughter was registered only to pressurise the victims and neutralise Akhlaq’s murder case in which 18 accused, including Vishal Rana, son of local BJP leader Sanjay Rana, were arrested. Framing of charges in the murder case is scheduled later his month.

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