Allahabad high court stays arrest of Akhlaq’s family members except his brother
In a big relief to the family of Mohammed Akhlaq, who was lynched to death by a violent mob over suspicion of consuming beef in the Bisada village near Dadri in Greater Noida last year, the Allahabad High Court on Friday stayed their arrest in connection with the case.
The court, however, refused relief to Akhlaq’s brother Jan Mohammad, the prime accused in the case. Notably, cow slaughter is banned in Uttar Pradesh with a prison term of up to two years.
A Bench of Justices Prabhat Chandra Tripathi and Ramesh Sinha, however, did not stay the arrest of Jan Mohammad, a brother of Akhlaq. Those whose arrests were stayed included Akhlaq’s wife Ikraman and mother Asgari. On July 14, a court in Greater Noida directed the police to lodge an FIR against members of Akhlaq’s family. Chief Judicial Magistrate Vijay Kumar also asked police to investigate the entire matter again, following a petition by a Bisada resident.
The Family then moved the Allahabad high court against a recent court order directing a police case be filed against them for storing and consuming beef.
The petition, which named seven family members, including Akhlaq’s wife Ikraman and mother Asgari, came in the wake of a forensic report in May that claimed the meat found in Akhlaq’s house was that of a cow or its progeny. The petitioner, backed by those accused of Akhlaq’s murder, alleged that the family had killed a calf and that Akhlaq’s brother Jan Mohammad was seen slitting the throat of the animal.
Reacting over the controversy, national president of Rashtriya Ulama Council, Maulana Amir Rahsadi Madni alleged that evidences in the infamous Dadri lynching case were “tampered” and raised questions over reports of Dadri and Mathura lab reports on the sample of meat sent for examination. “First of all, the meat recovered was more than 150 metres away from Akhlaq’s house,” he said.
On September 28 last year, a mob lynched Akhlaq and thrashed his son Danish (22) on the suspicion that they had killed a calf and consumed beef. The terrorised family left the village and is living in Delhi, along with Akhlaq’s older son, an Air Force technician.
The incident had sparked nationwide condemnation and a debate on rising intolerance with activists saying staunch Hindu leaders were responsible for raking up communal tensions that led to
Akhlaq’s death. They also blamed the Samajwadi Party’s state government and the BJP-ruled Centre.