Greater Noida: Police probing the Dadri lynching on Thursday said that the "trigger" behind it was the announcement by a local temple that beef was being consumed by the victim's family, and said the priest and the two youths were the "major links" in the case.
The youths had forced the temple priest to make the announcement, police said, adding that it triggered the attack.
Priest Sukhdas, while talking to India TV, recounted the events of that unfortunate night and said that he was forced by two youths to make the announcement on the temple loudspeaker.
He accepted that he made the announcement but only under the pressure from the youths.
When asked if he knows the youths, the priest said he does not know them by name but can recognise if brought in front of him. He added that the arrested youths were not the ones who forced him to make the announcement.
"The priest and two youths who forced him to announce beef rumour are the major links. Further probe will reveal the exact sequence of events as to how it all happened," superintendent of police (rural) Sanjay Singh said. district magistrate NP Singh said that magisterial inquiry has been started.
Meanwhile, the police said that the FIR lodged in this connection has no mention of beef. Police claimed that the cow slaughtering was just an allegation by the assailants.
"FIR has been lodged under IPC section 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 458 (trespass or house-breaking), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace)," an officer said.
Ten people have been named as accused along with over a hundred unknown assailants. The FIR was lodged on the basis of a complaint lodged by the victim's family. Seven of the accused were held on Wednesday.
"Situation in Bisrakh is under control and magisterial inquiry has been initiated and peace committees are also trying to maintain communal harmony," the DM said.
Police has ruled out any personal enmity angle. "Initial probe has ruled out the possibility," said Superitendent of Police.
Shaken and shocked after the incident, the family of Mohammad Akhlaq, who was killed by the mob on the night of September 28, and 50 other families of the village were planning to move out of the village.
Additional district magistrate Rajesh Kumar met the victim's family and other people of the community and assured them full protection.
SSP Kiran S said, "District magistrate has already ordered an inquiry. Sample of meet recovered from victim's house has been sent by chief veterinary officer to Mathura for forensic examination. Most of named accused have been arrested."
Centre today sought a detailed report from the state government and asked it to ensure that no such incident recurs. The Union Home Ministry told the state government that a report about lynching of the 50-year-old man should be sent to it as early as possible and the steps taken to find the guilty and punish them.
National Commission for Minorities has also sought a report over the incident from the DM.
However, kin of the accused claimed that they were innocent and implicated by police. "Police took my grandson Sandeep and a few other young people from Hindu families and claim they killed the man. I know them they can not even kill insect," said Shanti Devi.
Meanwhile, local BJP leader Harish Thakur alleged that the Uttar Pradesh chief minister was "discriminating" on the basis of religion.
"Rs 10 lakh compensation was immediately announced on the death of Muslim while on death or injury to Hindu community members state government remains silent," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)