Amid the demands from Dadri village to release the 18 accused, who have been charged with lynching Mohammad Akhlaq, his family on Sunday alleged that the forensic report of the meat recovered from their house might be manipulated to justify the lynching that shook the country.

Family members told The Hindu that they were “apprehensive” about the possibility of the forensic report being tampered with because the “Hindutva brigade was looking for an alibi and a justification for Akhlak’s lynching”. The family pointed to a “well-planned conspiracy” in the way the forensic report was being sought by the accused just before the mammoth “Mahapanchayat” of 144 villages, scheduled for mid-April.

Talking to this correspondent, Akhlaq’s brother Mohammad Jameel said an atmosphere was being prepared to find justification for the manner in which lynching took place.

“We have enough reasons to be apprehensive about the possibility of the forensic report being manipulated to justify Akhlaq’s lynching and then further use that report to communally vitiate the environment of the region before the U.P Assembly polls. In the proposed mahapanchayat of 144 villages, I can see an echo of the mahapanchayat in Muzaffarnagar and how that played a crucial role in polarising the entire State,” he said.

No Holi celebration

Dadri village of Bishahra has been tense since last week when the villagers did not celebrate Holi as a mark of protest against the “one-sided action” by the administration in the case. As the resentment grew over the arrest of 18 youths of Bishahra, villagers intensified their protest demanding a CBI enquiry in the case and release of the accused of Akhlaq’s lynching till the completion of the CBI enquiry. They also demanded the forensic report be made public and action be taken against Akhlaq’s family for alleged cow slaughter.

Eighteen people from the village, including Vishal Rana, son of the local BJP leader Sanjay Rana and his nephew Shivam, were arrested on charges of murder and assault. It has been six months since Mohammad Akhlaq, 52-year-old resident of the village was lynched by a village mob and his son Danish critically injured at their house, some thirty kilometers away from the national capital in Bishahra village in Dadri subdivision of Gautam Buddh Nagar district in U.P. Danish, who was still recovering from the serious brain injury he suffered in the assault by the village mob which lynched his father, said PAC personnel were deployed in the village “since fresh attempts were made to bring back Dadri in the discourse in a twisted manner and use that to polarise the area.”

“We are extremely disturbed at the way a section of villagers and the accused families have suddenly changed the narrative from murder to alleged cow slaughter. The families of the accused never mentioned the forensic report till now in the case which is that of murder. How come they want it now just before the Mahapanchayat?” asked Danish.

It is important to mention here that the preliminary investigation by veterinary doctors concluded that the meat recovered from Akhlaq’s house on the night he was lynched belonged to “goat progeny”. Later, the meat was sent to the forensic lab in Agra for detailed examination.

Last week the local court in Greater Noida asked the police to submit the forensic report in the court on April 7 after the lawyer of the accused objected to the framing of charges against them and asked the police to provide all the documents required to frame the charges. The Deputy Superintendent of Police Anurag Singh said the report would be presented in the court once the police got it. However, Mr Singh also reiterated that the forensic report had no role to play in the ongoing case which was about murder and not cow slaughter.

“We have filed the charge sheet against 18 accused and have time and again clarified that the forensic report remained irrelevant to the case which is about murder and assault and not that of cow slaughter,” he said.