Lucknow: The family of Mohammed Akhlaq - the 52-year-old man who was lynched by a mob in western Uttar Pradesh last year over suspicion of having eaten beef -- has decided to appeal to the Allahabad High Court against a recent order from a court that asked that a police case be filed against them for allegedly slaughtering a calf.
The orders came 10 days ago following a petition by a neighbour in their village Bisada. The petition was backed by those accused of Akhlaq's murder.
The neighbour has claimed that on September 26 last year, Akhlaq and his son Danish were seen beating the calf. Later, a villager saw Akhlaq holding down the calf while his brother killed it, the petition said.
Akhlaq's family has filed an application at the local court dealing with the matter, requesting it to order the police to investigate the matter further.
In Lucknow today, Akhlaq's son Sartaj, a member of the Indian Air Force, told media that there were many loopholes in the recent forensic report, after which the petition demanding legal action against the family was filed. The report said the meat found in a dustbin outside Akhlaq's home was the meat of "a cow or its progeny".
In the initial report at the veterinary college, it was said 2 kg meat had been recovered, but the records from the Mathura forensic laboratory said the quantity was 5 kg, he said. "How is this possible?" Sartaj asked, adding "The meat was recovered from near the village transformer and it was never sealed."
His family, he said, was being made to feel like criminals instead of victims.
Asad Hayat, the lawyer representing the family, said: "This is a criminal conspiracy and has been so since the beginning. We believe that the hospital authorities, laboratory authorities and even the police could be involved."
Beef eating is not a crime in Uttar Pradesh but cow slaughter is a non-bailable offence which carries a punishment of up to seven years in jail. Police officers have said there will be no immediate arrest. Any action will only be taken after a preliminary inquiry, they said.