The family of 15-year-old Junaid Khan, who was stabbed to death in a Mathura-bound local train, is set to get Rs 8 lakh as compensation from the Indian Railways.
Taking a rare suo motu cognizance of the June 22 incident, which has been touted as a case of “lynching”, the Railway Claims Tribunal (RCT) bench headed by Judicial Member Sanjiv Dutt Sharma passed the order declaring the compensation, besides issuing notices to Northern Railway General Manager to submit a detailed report along with all photocopies of the records of the case. The Tribunal has also ordered its office in Chandigarh to contact Junaid’s parents and help them file the necessary papers for the claim as per the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987.
“The present incident of brutal killing of this minor boy has pricked the conscience of this Tribunal…. We feel it is prima facie established that Junaid became sufferer of an untoward incident and he was stabbed to death in a Palwal-bound EMU,” the RCT order states. The order directs the local police in Haryana to cooperate with the Superintendant of the Chandigarh office of the RCT to prepare all paperwork bythe next date of hearing on August 28. Even though Railways has maintained that the incident leading to Junaid’s death pertains to “law and order” and as such is the domain of the state government, the Tribunal has put the “lynching” in the bracket of “untoward incident”— a specific category defined in the Act as well as the Railways Act, 1989, that attracts compensation from the Centre.
Internal reports in Railway Board from the transporter’s Security establishment have described the incident as a fight between two groups of passengers over seats that snowballed into murder. However, the Tribunal’s order prevents Railways from escaping responsibility, Rail Bhawan sources told The Indian Express on Tuesday.
Terrorist act, rioting, violent attack, robbery, dacoity, shootout or arson in or on any train carrying passengers, or in a waiting hall, cloak room or reservation or booking office or on any platform or in any other place within the precincts of a railway station fall within the ambit of “untoward incident”.