Dadri, a small village in Uttar Pradesh which shot to infamy when a 50 year old was lynched to death allegedly for storing beef , is back in the news again.
Eight months after Muhammed Aklaq was murdered, a lab report now claims that the meat sample collected from his house is of cow and not mutton.
This investigation result, and the reactions to it raises some pertinent political questions.
The report coming after eight months contradicts the preliminary report which found that the meat belongs to “goat progeny ‘.
This report have already started showing signs of becoming a polarising agent in the state, which is to elect a new Assembly next year.
The report issued by the Central Forensic Lab in Mathura on Tuesday comes just as a court in Surjapur prepares to hear the murder case.
The investigating officers and prosecutors have said that the new lab report would not have any bearing on the case.
The primary report was prepared by the Government Veterinary Hospital, Dadri.
But the report has rekindled the debate around consumption of beef and cow slaughter, which the BJP has used extensively in the past to win elections and polarise voters.
Sanjay Rana the father of the prime accused said he will file a complaint against Aklaq’s family for storing beef in their refrigerator.
“Killing a man is a big crime but so is slaughtering a cow. Government should also consider the reasons why the man was killed before taking the decision. People have been hurt by the same,” Rana said.
BJP and other Sangh parivar leaders have also joined the chorus demanding action against Akhalq’s family. BJP MP Yogi Adithyanath has already demanded the withdrawal of facilities extended to the family after the killing by the state government. He also blamed opposition parties and the media for making the lynching a big issue “They are mum on this report. The innocent Hindus arrested in the matter should be immediately released, he said in Gorakpur.
But Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has questioned the authenticity of the report. He said “Where was the sample sent, who received it? There was nothing objectionable in his house. Every eye is on this matter. Everyone wants that the victim’s family should get justice as murder had taken place.”
Some of the villagers have also started asking the UP government to withdraw all the facilities provided to Akhalq’s family.
The new report which contradicts the primary one which has come in for criticism from activists too.
Film maker Anand Patwardhan said in a Facebook post that “In ancient India’s laboratories, an elephant head could be transplanted onto a human body. In Modi’s modern India laboratory certified mutton can become certified beef in 8 months, just in the nick of time for the UP elections”
Muzaffarnagar anti- Muslim riots in 2013 polarised the electorate on communal lines ahead of the 2014 elections eventually helping BJP in UP.
Now with sudden emergence of the report and some BJP leaders taking up the issue to whip up emotions, all seems to be set to make Dadri lynching another polarising factor before the 2017 Assembly election.