Days after the arrest of four men in connection with the murder of 15-year-old Junaid Khan on board a Mathura-bound train, the Haryana Railway Police have retrieved bloodstained clothing which they believe can serve as strong evidence against the men. Police, however, added that the four have been unable to provide any credible leads on the main accused. “We had taken the men into police custody for two days to seize some bloodstained clothing…. We have been successful in doing this…We have in our custody two shirts and a saafa belonging to the accused. This will be sent for DNA testing. If the blood belongs to Junaid, it will serve as hard evidence against the men,” said Mohinder Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP).
He, however, refused to disclose where the testing would take place and when the report can be expected. The men — Rameshwar Sharma, an MCD worker, Pradeep Kumar, who was preparing for the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) examinations, Chandraprakash Sharma, who worked in the accounts department of a Ballabhgarh factory, and Gaurav Kumar, another factory worker — all belong to Khambi village in Palwal. They were arrested late Tuesday night.
Police claimed that the four confessed to being present in the coach in which Junaid was killed. They also admitted to being a part of the mob that allegedly hurled communal slurs at him and his brothers, and manhandled them. The men were produced in a Faridabad court on Thursday, from where they were sent to police remand for two days. On Saturday afternoon, they were produced in court once more, and sent to judicial custody. They are now lodged in Neemka jail, Faridabad, where the fifth accused in the case — Ramesh Kumar (35) — is being held since Tuesday.
On tracing the main accused in the case, DSP Singh said, “The four accused were not able to provide us with any information that could lead us to the main accused. But we are conducting our investigations and expect to arrest him soon as well.” Elaborating on this, he said police personnel are scouring CCTV footage from relevant areas to ascertain if these can provide them with any hint of the accused and his whereabouts.
The footage being considered includes one procured from a camera installed at a community centre near Asaoti railway station last week, which shows three men boarding a bike and fleeing the spot soon after the train came to a halt, police said.
However, Hashim, Junaid’s brother — who was also present during the incident — had failed to confirm that the men were a part of the mob. “Hashim may have been unsure about the men, but we are conducting our own investigation. We expect to get some leads soon,” Singh said.
The incident took place on the evening of June 22 while Junaid and three others were on their way home to Ballabhgarh after Eid shopping in Delhi’s Sadar Bazaar. An argument that began over seats escalated and the boys were subjected to communal taunts, even called beef-eaters. Junaid and his brothers were later stabbed. Junaid succumbed to his injuries the same evening.