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When 15-year-old Junaid Khan left home in Ballabhgarh on Thursday morning, he thought he’ll return with a new set of kurta-pyjama, a pair of shoes and some khushboo. Little did he know that the journey to Delhi, for Eid shopping, would cost him his life.
On his way home in a Mathura-bound train, with his elder brother Hashim and two friends, Junaid was stabbed to death, allegedly by “a group of 10-12 men between 7-8 pm”. His brothers Hashim and Shaqir, who boarded the train later, also sustained stab wounds.
Speaking to The Indian Express, 23-year-old Shaqir, admitted to the AIIMS Trauma Centre in Delhi, alleged that the accused started taunting Junaid and the others over their clothing, and also made references to “beef eating”.
“They flung our skull caps, pulled my brother’s beard, slapped us, and taunted us about eating cow meat. Beef is not even cooked in our village. Once we reached Ballabhgarh, they took out knives. They were older than us — probably in their 30s — so we couldn’t do anything,” recalled Shaqir, tears rolling down his cheeks. He said the men started stabbing Junaid, Hashim and him.
Shaqir, who works as a driver, suffered five stab wounds, including one on his chest. While the family, including Hashim, is in Ballabhgarh, his elder brother Ismail is in the hospital with him.
“Hashim told me the men threw them off the train at Asaoti station. Some people there called an ambulance and they were then taken to a hospital in Palwal,” said Ismail.
The FIR mentions that the two groups fought over seats. “They noticed we are Muslims because of our clothing and began taunting us. It would go on for a bit, then stop, then start again,” said Shaqir. “First they slapped us, then abused us, and then between Ballabhgarh and Asaoti stations, they stabbed us.”
Shaqir’s last memory of Junaid is of him being stabbed. Soon after, he said, the mob moved to the other two brothers.
“He used to study Urdu at the madrasa in our village, and just a day earlier, he read the Quran at home. He was a healthy kid but he never fought with anyone. I told the mob that these are children… and that if we don’t say anything about their religion, they shouldn’t say anything about ours.”
A case has been registered at Government Railway Police station, Faridabad, under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 302 (murder), and 34 (common intention). One arrest has been made so far, Superintendent of Police Kamaldeep Goyal said.
The FIR, filed by Hashim, states that the accused picked an argument over seats before becoming violent.