THE Haryana Police Saturday claimed to have arrested the prime accused in the killing of Junaid Khan, from Dhule in Maharashtra, over a fortnight after the 15-year-old was stabbed to death on a train. They said he has confessed.
While the Haryana Police refused to give details about the identity of the accused, citing “investigation concerns”, police in Maharashtra identified him as Naresh Rakh. “Rakh was detained in the Sakri police station limits on Saturday afternoon by the Haryana Police,” Dhule Superintendent of Police M Ramkumar told The Sunday Express. “After making a police diary entry, the team took Rakh to Haryana.”
A senior personnel at the Maharashtra DGP’s office said the arrest was based on technical surveillance. “Rakh managed to flee after the incident and was staying with his relatives in Dhule. The Haryana team was on his trail and managed to pick up a few leads through technical surveillance. The team arrived in Maharashtra on Saturday afternoon and took Rakh into custody. The Maharashtra Police was subsequently informed,” said the official.
“In the questioning we have done until now, the accused has admitted to stabbing Junaid and his brothers. He will be produced in court on Sunday and further investigations will be conducted,” Kamal Deep Goyal, Superintendent of Police, Haryana Railway Police, said.
Goyal refused to reveal the name of the accused as well as “the sequence of events we have put together so far”, saying it might “compromise the investigation”. Police sources said the arrest, from Sakri in Dhule district, was made independent of leads from the questioning of the five men held earlier. The weapon used in the crime though is yet to be retrieved.
On Wednesday, Junaid’s elder brother Hashim, who too was stabbed in the train, had been shown a sketch of the main accused by police officials. “I recognised him, he was the same man who stabbed Junaid, Shaqir and me in the train. Today, we were told he has been caught,” Hashim told The Sunday Express.
The five men arrested earlier had admitted that they were part of the mob that hurled communal slurs at Junaid and his companions, and scuffled with them. However, they had denied stabbing Junaid.
The identification parade of the accused is pending.
On June 22, Junaid was returning home to Ballabgarh after Eid shopping in Delhi, with three others. A fight began over seats in the Mathura-bound train the boys had boarded, with “15/20 people” allegedly hurling communal slurs at them, calling them “beef-eaters” and making jibes at their skull caps. As the fight escalated, Junaid and his brothers Shaqir and Hashim were stabbed. Junaid succumbed to his injuries the same evening.