More than eight months after a mob in Dadri’s Bisara village lynched Mohammad Akhlaq after rumours of cow slaughter and beef consumption started doing rounds, some people who apparently witnessed Akhlaq’s family slaughter a calf have come forward, prompting villagers to move court.On Thursday, a group of villagers gave an application to the chief judicial magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar, with a request to direct the police to lodge an FIR against Akhlaq’s family members.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The petition starts with the mention of September 25 being the festival of Eid, when the Muslim community kills animals and distributes meat. It goes on to mention that three days before the lynching, some locals, including one Ranveer, saw Akhlaq and his younger son Danish beating a calf and forcefully taking it inside the shed owned by Akhlaq’s brother Jaan Mohamad around midnight.Reportedly, when they enquired about the calf, Akhlaq said the calf was sick and he wanted to keep at at his brother’s home. The petitioners further claimed that half an hour later, another local Prem Singh saw Akhlaq’s whole family accompanying the calf and then slaughtering it. Prem claimed Akhlaq’s brother allegedly slaughtered the calf.According to the petition, after noticing that the calf was missing, villagers began to look for it. Three days later, some locals saw Akhlaq throwing a black polythene bag onto the street. They checked and discovered the bag contained animal remains. Akhlaq then said he had goat meat at home.The petition claims that when some locals went to Akhlaq’s home, he admitted to his mistake. This was followed by some locals beating him.Interestingly, the theory contradicts the statements of a BJP leader’s son Vishal and his cousin Shivam, who had allegedly announced from a local temple that Akhlaq had slaughtered a calf.In their first statement, Vishal and Shivam had said they “heard the announcement” about cow slaughter. In another statement, they said they “received the news of cow slaughter”. In yet another statement, produced by the investigating officer in front of the magistrate, they said they were provoked by others to attack Akhlaq. Furthermore, the two apologised for their crime and said they will repeat their statement in the court. A juvenile, involved in the case, has been quoted as saying that he heard the announcement by Shivam and Vishal and then proceeded towards Akhlaq’s residence.In the entire police probe, documents of which have been accessed by dna, only one accused, a UP home guard, clearly says that it was Shivam who said he had seen Akhlaq throw the meat onto the street. Home guard Vinay, who was present at the panchayat held last week, had then said, “My son was innocent and was given a clean chit earlier but was arrested under pressure. I got his name removed from the statement of Akhlaq’s daughter but later his (Akhlaq’s) son (Danish) was made to name my son.”According to Ram Saran Sagar, one of the lawyers representing four of the accused, said the petition will be heard on June 13. The development comes days after a village panchayat, attended by BJP leader Sanjay Rana and other local leaders of Shiv Sena’s western UP unit, gave a 20-day ultimatum to the UP administration, demanding FIR against Akhlaq’s family.When asked why the witnesses didn’t come forward earlier, Sagar said, “They were terrified. Now that it has been proved that the meat belonged to a calf, they have decided to speak the truth. Those arrested are innocent and the ones who killed Akhlaq did not belong to Bisada.”Meanwhile, Akhlaq’s family has rubbished the claims. “This is insulting to the memory of my father. We are being forced to live that day again and again,” said Akhlaq’s elder son Sartaj Saifi, who is currently posted with the Indian Air Force in Delhi.Responding to the developments of the day, lawyer for Akhlaq’s family, Yusuf Saifi, said, “The report will have no impact on the case because the case is about Akhlaq’s murder. But we will still challenge it so that truth is brought in front of the people. Meanwhile, the petition that was filed shows 18 accused accepting their crime. We will bring this to the court’s notice.”


Dadri lynching: 8 months on, ‘eye-witnesses’ demand FIR against Akhlaq’s family