After six people were detained and subsequently let off in connection with the lynching of a 15-year-old on a Mathura-bound train, Haryana Railway Police on Sunday announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for any “credible information” on the incident. While the weapon used to commit the crime is yet to be recovered, police said that they have formed four teams to probe the matter. Their strategy, till now, has been to “speak to regular passengers in the train to try and create a picture of the exact sequence of events that led up to the murder”, said a police source.
The incident occurred on Thursday evening, while the boy, Junaid, was going home to Ballabgarh by train, along with three others, after Eid shopping at Sadar Bazar in Delhi. An argument ensued over seats in the train, and in the scuffle that followed, Junaid and his two brothers were stabbed, with the former succumbing to his injuries.
In the FIR, “15/20 people” have been accused of hurling anti-Muslim comments and manhandling the boys, said the police. No one has been named, added the police.
Kamaldeep Goyal, the Superintendent of Police (SP) of the Haryana Railway Police, said, “We are questioning passengers who travel on the route daily to ascertain if they saw anything. We are still probing the matter and can only reveal more once further investigations have been conducted.” Goyal also announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh, while assuring that the identity of the witness would be kept hidden. He added, “Anyone who can give any information related to the event and can provide us with any photographs or videos of the same will receive a reward of Rs 1 lakh.”
Earlier, an officer of the GRP had told The Indian Express that the CCTV camera that overlooked the spot at the Asaoti railway station in Faridabad, where Khan had bled to death, had been found to be tampered with.
Hashim, Junaid’s brother, who was also injured in the incident, had claimed on Saturday that he was called to the police station for identification parade, and had identified two accused of the four presented to him, although he claimed neither of the two had wielded the knife and were only among those who had abused and manhandled his companions and him. Police refused to comment on the issue.
One person, though, identified as 35-year-old Ramesh, a resident of Palwal’s Jodhpur village, has been arrested in connection with the case. Police said Ramesh has claimed that he was intoxicated when he boarded the train at Ballabgarh, after noticing a commotion inside the coach. Claiming that he was “provoked”, Ramesh has taken responsibility for the stabbing, police said.
Police, however, are interrogating him to confirm the same. Hashim told The Indian Express though, that “he wasn’t the one who stabbed his brother” and was “one of those in the mob”.
The police did, however, detain six people for questioning apart from the accused, said a source, adding that they were all eventually let off after the police came to the conclusion that they were not involved in the murder.