On Saturday, the prime accused in connection with the Junaid Khan lynching case was arrested from Dhule district of Maharashtra, more than a fortnight after the incident had occurred. The Government Railway Police (GRP) said in a statement that a team was sent to Dhule after they received a tip-off that the accused was hiding there. The name of the accused was not mentioned in the statement. He would be produced before a court on Sunday. “We have arrested a person from Maharashtra,” SP, GRP, Kamaldeep Goyal said. He was nabbed from Sakri in Dhule, he said. The GRP also claimed that the accused had “confessed” to having killed the 15-year-old during interrogation. “The identity of the accused was not disclosed keeping in mind the legal process,” the statement said.
On June 22, Junaid was stabbed to death while his brothers, Hashim and Sakir, were injured on board a Mathura-bound train by a mob which allegedly hurled communal slurs against them. The boys were on their way back home to Ballabhgarh after doing Eid shopping in Delhi’s Sadar Bazaar. Narrating their ordeal, Junaid’s brothers said the attackers had taunted and repeatedly called them “anti-nationals” and “beef eaters”. Junaid was reportedly lynched by the frenzied mob after an argument broke out over seats escalated. The youth’s body was subsequently dumped close to Asaoti village in Faridabad district. The incident also sparked a nationwide outrage with protests being held across the country.
Earlier, the police had arrested five persons, including a Delhi government employee, in connection with the killing of Junaid between Ballabgarh and Mathura stations onboard a Delhi-Mathura passenger train. Police said all the arrested had admitted to being the part of the mob but claimed they did not wield the knife that killed the 15-year-old. All of them are currently lodged in Neemka jail, Faridabad. Haryana Railway Police, who had been struggling to nab the main accused, had also announced a reward of Rs 2 lakh for “credible information about the accused”.
Police had been pursuing a promising lead received from the CCTV footage procured last week from a camera installed at a community centre near Asaoti railway station. The footage showed three men getting on a motorcycle and fleeing from the area soon after the train in which Junaid was killed came to a halt at the station. The footage, however, is of “poor quality”, which made it harder for police to identify the men.
Condemning the incident, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu had told NDTV, “It is atrocious, it should not have happened at all….Local law enforcement authorities must act fast.” Several other leaders cutting across the political spectrum had also condemned the incident simultaneously.
With inputs from PTI