The relative of the three Kashmiri men, who were allegedly assaulted by a mob on a local train in the capital, has said they are “still petrified”. The three traders had managed to escape by jumping off the train when it slowed near Nangloi railway station, leaving behind shawls worth Rs 2 lakh. The mob allegedly called them “stone pelters” and accused them of “killing our men in Pulwama” — referring to the terror attack on a convoy in J&K that killed 40 CRPF personnel — before assaulting them with belts.
The men, aged 22, 30 and 35, travel to Delhi every winter from Kulgam to help a relative sell shawls in the capital and Haryana.
On Tuesday, they had taken the train from Sarai Rohilla station to Sampla in Haryana. “There were two men in the compartment, who asked them if they are Kashmiris. When they said yes, they started abusing them. They said ‘Kashmir mein patthar maarte ho, Delhi mein shawl bechte ho’ and accused them of taking money from Pakistan,” claimed Zakir Hussain Khan, the uncle of one of the three men.
“My relatives said they are peace-loving and have nothing to do with this, but the men started hitting them. Soon, more men joined… and hit them with belt buckles. They jumped off the train when it slowed down near Nangloi station to save their lives,” he claimed. “I have lived in Delhi for 15 years. I sell shawls here and never faced a problem. The men on the train treated my relatives like outsiders. They are… petrified, but the police are with us; so are our neighbours,” Khan said.
A case under IPC sections 323 (causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 340 and 341 (wrongful confinement) has been filed against unknown persons. “They sustained simple injuries and were slapped a few times. We have got a portrait made of the two men and are investigating the matter,” said DCP (Railways) Dinesh Kumar Gupta.
CPM leader Brinda Karat claimed that the men called up a party member in Kulgam about the beating, after which she visited them in hospital.
“One has a head injury, the other two have broken teeth and a bleeding nose. After they were discharged, we took them to our office and called up police to register an FIR,” said Karat.