A day after they were arrested by Haryana Railway Police in connection with the murder of 15-year-old Junaid Khan, four men from Palwal’s Khambi village were produced in a Faridabad court on Thursday and sent to two-day police remand. Police said they will attempt to “retrieve bloodstained clothes” and “procure leads on the main accused” from them. Police said the four accused have been identified as Rameshwar Sharma, an MCD worker, Pradeep Kumar, who is preparing for the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) examinations, Chandraprakash Sharma, who works in the accounts department of a factory in Ballabhgarh, and Gaurav Kumar, who is also a factory worker in the same area.
Two main arguments were made in the court of Judicial Magistrate Poorva Mehra, with the prosecution requesting for a Test Identification Parade (TIP) and two-day police custody of the accused. While the first request was rejected, the latter was approved by the court.
Elaborating on the TIP request, defence lawyer, Jogender Singh, said, “After their arrest, all four accused were shown to the complainants on Wednesday. But, for the sake of drama, the prosecution today requested for a TIP again, which we refused and the court rejected. If the complainant has already seen these men, it is only natural he will identify them immediately in a TIP as well.”
On the demand for two-day police custody, prosecution lawyer Nibrash Ahmed, said, “The application was submitted by the investigating officer in the case in order to retrieve some bloodstained clothes — including a shirt and a safa — and to determine who else was involved in the incident. This request has been approved, and the accused will be presented in court on July 1.”
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mohinder Singh confirmed that the main focus of the investigation will now be on retrieving bloodstained clothing, which could prove to be strong evidence. “We are also certain of getting leads about the main accused, who stabbed the boys, while interrogating the four men. With his arrest, we believe we will also retrieve the murder weapon,” DSP Singh said.
Police, however, refused to share further details. Kamal Deep Goyal, Superintendent of Police, said, “We will be questioning the four accused… and cannot share further details until this period (two-day remand) is over, as it will compromise the investigation.”
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.
While Junaid succumbed to his injuries the same evening, one of his brothers is recuperating at Apollo hospital while the other has been discharged.
According to police, Rameshwar, who boarded the train at Okhla station, admitted to starting the argument. The other three accused, who got in at New Town and Ballabhgarh, said they got involved in the argument as well. None of them, however, stabbed the boys, police said.
Police had made the first arrest in the case on Friday — 35-year-old Ramesh Kumar, a resident of Palwal who worked at a factory in Ballabhgarh, was taken into custody.