NEW DELHI: Five days after 16-year-old Junaid Khan was killed by a mob on a train, accusing him of being “a beef-eater”, the police has made little progress in finding those who stabbed him and three other young men traveling with him.
One man was arrested over the weekend, though the survivors of the attack say the group that attacked them had at least 20 members.
Ramesh, who uses only one name, told the police after his arrest on Saturday that he was drunk when he attacked the young Muslims and that the group of passengers incited him by declaring them “beef-eaters.” He was arrested by the police after he was found inebriated near the station where Junaid was thrown off the train.
Though the train that was traveling from Delhi to Mathura was packed when the violence erupted, not one witness has been located by the police. Junaid’s companions including his brother Haseeb have recounted what happened.
CCTV footage of two men on a bike filmed at a community centre in village Asaoti, about 30 kms from Delhi, where Junaid was thrown off the train, has been offered to the police by the sarpanch or village council chief. It reportedly shows one of the bikers with a bloodied bandage around his head, triggering speculation about whether he is linked to the train lynching.
Junaid, his brother Haseeb, and their cousins Shaqair and Mohsin were travelling back to their village in Ballabhgarh after a visit to Delhi to shop for Eid. A group of men accused them of having beef in their bags. Haseeb, in his police complaint, said religious slurs were yelled at them; his skull cap was pulled off his head, his beard was pulled.
The police first said that the fight broke out over seats in the compartment.
As public anger surged and with protests planned for tomorrow in different cities by citizens against the lengthening list of mob attacks against men who they accuse of killing cows or eating beef, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad yesterday described Junaid Khan’s murder as “painful and shameful” and said the government will not tolerate such attacks.