CHANDIGARH: As police arrested one of the accused in the killing of 17-year-old Junaid on board a Mathura-bound train, the residents of his village, Khandawli, in Faridabad district in Haryana, protested against the incident by wearing black bands during the Eid celebrations on Monday.
Though prayers were offered in the morning, no Eid celebrations were held at the mosque in the village.
The Muslim residents, who wore black bands during the special morning namaz, said Eid has lost all its meaning and wondered if “the spate of lynchings” would ever end.
Shakeel, a resident of Khandawli, said that people also wore black bands at other places, including Mewat, as a mark of protest against the horrific killing.
Hashim (20), Junaid’s elder brother, broke down several times as he recalled the fateful Thursday evening when he along with his other siblings boarded the train from Delhi’s Sadar Bazaar after finishing Eid shopping.
“They killed him in cold blood. All of a sudden, a group of 20-25 people who had boarded the train from Okhla station pushed my brother Junaid and he fell down,” he recalled, his voice choking with emotion.
Jallaludin, Junaid’s father, while trying to console Hashim, dismissed the police’s claim that Junaid was killed because of a dispute over the sharing of a seat.
“Junaid had, in fact, vacated a seat for an elderly person. The seat theory is being cooked up as an excuse. The incident is purely communal in nature and my son was targeted because of his religious identity,” he said.
Sources said the Railway Police have arrested one of the accused, identified as Ramesh Kumar, in this connection. On Saturday, he was remanded in police custody by a court in Faridabad and
Kumar apparently confessed he was in an inebriated state at the time of the incident.
The state police have announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for anyone providing credible information about the other accused.
The state government has provided financial assistance of Rs10 lakh to the victim’s family.
Jallaludin, when asked if anyone from the Haryana government had met the family yet, said, “Not even a lower rank official of the state government has visited us, what to say about the chief minister. We have not even heard anybody from the government condemning the incident.