A Mathura forensic lab on Tuesday confirmed that the meat samples taken from Mohammad Akhlaq’s house in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri were of a cow or its progeny. Akhlaq, 52, was killed in September last year for allegedly eating beef. Five months ago, the state veterinary department had confirmed that it was mutton and not beef.

Fifty-two-year-old Akhlaq and his son Danish were attacked by a mob at Bisada village in Dadri over rumours that they had slaughtered a cow on September 28, 2015. After which Akhlaq succumbed to his injuries at a hospital, while his son survived with a fractured skull.

Later, the incident triggered a nationwide debate over intolerance and beef politics. It also sparked a chain of protests across the country, with prominent writers, film-makers and scientists returning their awards as well as beef bans across the country.

The police had sent a sample of the meat from his home to a Mathura laboratory for forensic tests to check if it was beef. As per law in Uttar Pradesh, eating beef is not illegal, where Dadri is located, although the slaughter of cows is banned.

The police said they had asked for the forensic report for the purpose of their investigation. A police official said they are investigating the case of Akhlaq’s murder and not cow slaughter. They sent the meat to forensic test to establish the motive behind the incident. In an initial report last year, a local government veterinarian said the flesh “looks like mutton”.

Recently, a fast-track court allowed the lawyers of the suspects who allegedly lynched Akhlaq to get a copy of the forensic report. The report of the forensic test was submitted to the fast-track court in April this year.

The police had arrested eighteen people including two juveniles in the case and a chargesheet has been filed against them.

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