A Muslim youth was stabbed to death and two of his brothers severely injured in an altercation on a Delhi-Mathura train on Thursday evening. The victim – identified as Junaid – was returning home to Khandawali village in Faridabad, Haryana after shopping for Eid with his brothers.
The fight, according to reports, started over a train seat. But Junaid’s death could be yet another casualty of death over beef rumours.
Family Called “Beef-Eaters”, But “Beef” Missing From FIR
One of injured brothers said the attackers allegedly passed slurs against them, calling them “anti-nationals” and “beef-eaters”. But Mohinder Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Faridabad Government Railway Police said that the FIR – lodged by the victim’s family – does not mention the word “beef”.
Hashim, one of the injured brothers, told Hindustan Times that a group of “15-20 people” boarded the train at Okhla, and began arguing with the family over seats.
One of them pushed my brother Junaid. He initially thought that it was unintentional as the bogie was crowded. But when he did it again, my brother asked them to behave. The man got angry and threw Junaid’s skull cap on the floor. The man started calling him an anti-national and asked us all to vacate the seat.
Hashim then called his brother Shakir to rescue them from the group, asking him to pick them up at Ballabgarh station. When the family attempted to alight the train at Ballabgarh station, Shakir too was pulled into the mob.
The mob reportedly bolted the gate of the coach, and four men held Junaid by his arms as one repeatedly stabbed him. DSP Singh said a passenger used a knife to stab him to death.
We Are Not Safe in Our Country: Junaid’s Grandfather
Talking to CNN-News18, victim Junaid’s grandfather said following his grandson’s death, they do not feel safe in the country. He further said:
Beef ka masla saamne aa raha hai. Humare bachche sirf Delhi mein shopping karne gaye the. (Our kids were in Delhi to shop. And they are accusing them of beef.)
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s close aide Jawahar Yadav, responding to the grandfather’s statement, called the incident “unfortunate”. At the same time, he insisted that there was “no communal angle” behind the mob frenzy. The altercation, he said, was over train seats.
He further added that the Haryana government “will probe the family’s version that the attacks were communal in nature”.
He said, “Haryana has no history of communal violence. Hindus and Muslims live peacefully together.”
One Arrest So Far
The police have arrested one person in connection with the case, who allegedly confessed his involvement in the killing of Junaid. The police are additionally probing reports indicating lack of police intervention, despite their presence at the Ballabgarh station.
According to an NDTV report, his brother Mohsin tried pulling the emergency chain to halt the train, but it was of now avail. The family also alleged that none of the passengers came forward to help them.
Action Against Railway Officials
Speaking to CNN News 18, Yadav said that a probe will first be conducted into the inaction on part of the concerned railway officials.
We will take legal action against the defaulters, once the probe is conducted.
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