A day after violence erupted in Mainpuri’s Karhal area following rumours of cow slaughter, police Saturday booked two Muslim men for allegedly promoting enmity between groups. While both were produced before the court, which sent them to jail, their families claimed Friday’s attack on them was pre-planned.
Police, however, will remove charges under the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animal Act slapped against the two on Friday, as the post-mortem report of the dead cow has confirmed that it died from a disease and was not slaughtered.
The preliminary inquiry has also confirmed that the accused — Lalla and Shafeeq — did not have the licence to skin and dispose of the dead animal.
The probe found that they used to work with one Illiyas, who had procured a licence from the Mainpuri Municipal Board to dispose of dead animals. But Illiyas had died three weeks ago, following which the licence was cancelled.
Mainpuri District Magistrate Chandra Pal said: “Lalla and Shafeeq are accused of provoking the mob by their act of skinning the animal without a licence. They were beaten up by locals, but police managed to rescue them.”
SP Rakesh Shankar said the two have been booked under sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 505 (2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill will between classes) of the IPC.
He added that police were verifying video clips and photographs taken by some locals on their cellphones to identify those involved in the violence. “The Mainpuri Municipal Board had issued a license to Illiyas for disposal of dead animals but he died over three week ago. Lalla and Shafeeq were working with him. They could not show any document establishing that they were authorised to dispose of dead animals,” said Shankar.
When contacted, Shafeeq’s son Jaleel told The Indian Express that his father has been disposing of animals for a long time now and used to work with Illiyas who had a licence for the job.
After the rumours spread Friday, a mob engaged in arson and attacked police personnel.
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