Ghaziabad: The temple priest, whom police had called a 'major link' in the Dadri lynching incident, admitted on Thursday that he had made the announcement on cow slaughter after being pressurised by two villagers.
Speaking to CNN IBN, the priest said that the two youths had forced him to make the announcement that cow was slaughtered and stored in the house of the victim.
Police probing the incident has said that the "trigger" behind the incident 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.
Also, 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.
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.
Tension had prevailed in a village in Dadri after a 50-year-old man was beaten to death and his son seriously injured by a mob which barged into their house following rumours that the family had consumed beef.
Around 200 persons attacked the residence of Iqlakh on Monday night after rumours spread in the village that a cow has been slaughtered and the beef was stored in his house, police said onWednesday.
The mob allegedly beat Iqlakh to death while his 22-year-old son Danish was critically injured in the attack and is undergoing treatment at a hospital, they said.
(With PTI inputs)