New Delhi -- A little over two weeks after 50-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched by a mob in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, police claim that nine suspects have 'confessed' to have been a part of the group that murdered the man.
According to a report on The Times of India one of the accused is just 17-years-old and was arrested from Delhi, where he had fled and was trying to dodge the police.
TOI quotes a senior police officer as saying, "The accused have admitted they were part of the mob. They admitted they had gone to Akhlaq's residence and checked both refrigerators. None of them admitted to killing Akhlaq but said they wanted to teach him a lesson as he was accused of slaughtering a cow."
Local BJP leader Sanjay Rana's son Vishal Rana is among the accused in the case. He admitted to have been instrumental in gathering the mob with his friends Shivam Bhati and Saurabh Singh.
Rana said that they first barged into Akhlaq's house and searched the first flood. Then they went to the second floor where Danish was studying. It is there that they found a packet of meat.
Meanwhile, VHP and Bajrang Dal have offered to provide legal support to the men accused in the lynching case. A spokesperson for the Bajrang Dal, Bajraj Dungar told TOI: "The state government is failing to take care of basic law and order in UP. Which is why we are scared that they may use some innocent people from the Hindu community as scapegoats. We are not supporting any accused but we are simply saying they deserve a fair chance at a fair trial. The Bajrang Dal and the VHP simply want justice and that is why we are willing to provide any kind of legal aid to the accused without any judgment. Our justice system says that people are innocent until proved guilty. We will even arrange a lawyer for them if that is what they require."