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Dadri beef murder: Was forced to make cow slaughter announcement, says priest

Noida: The priest who made an announcement that a family was consuming beef has confirmed to CNN-IBN that he was pressurised to do so by the two youths.

Md Akhlaq

He said that they pressurised him saying that he must do that as he belonged to the same village. He said that they forced him to say that the victim’s family had slaughtered a cow and stored it in their house.

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.

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(house-trespass or house-breaking), 504 ( Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace),” an officer said.

Also read: Dadri beef murder- Centre seeks report from Uttar Pradesh govt

Ten persons 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 yesterday. “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 N P Singh said that magisterial inquiry has been started. “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.