Reacting to the stabbing of 15-year-old Junaid Khan, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Tek Chand Sharma, who has in the past openly backed the BJP, said the incident “wasn’t communal” and that he would “speak to Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar” to give them financial aid from the CM relief fund.
Junaid and his elder brother Hashim and two friends were on their way home to Ballabgarh, when he was allegedly stabbed to death by a “group of 10-12 men between 7 and 8 pm”.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Sharma said, “The issue was not communal at all. The fight started over seats and then it spiralled. When a fight happens, people say a lot of things. But there is no connection to beef and there are people who are attempting to give this incident a communal colour.”
In May 2015, Sharma, BSP’s lone MLA in Haryana, had ignored his party’s differences with the BJP and held a public rally at Mohna village in his Prithla Assembly for CM Manohar Lal Khattar. After Khan’s lynching, the Opposition, across party lines, has criticized the BJP over “atmosphere of hate” in the country.
Sharma differed. “This is a case where people, for their own motives are attempting to create this communal tension. This is an issue of criminality. Criminals like this need to be behind bars…The area, where they live is peaceful and for me, my first priority is that peace and amity is maintained. I have visited the family, who are the victims in this horrific crime, every day since the incident.”
He added, “We have given them money and I will speak to the chief minister to give Rs 5 lakh from the CM Relief fund. Whatever help is needed, I will speak to the government and ensure it is done. I have spoken to the Haryana Waqf Board so that their elder son can get a job as an imam.”
Junaid’s father Jalaludin confirmed that Sharma had given them two cheques, one each from the Red Cross Society and one from Haryana Waqf Board, of Rs 5 lakh each. “We have been provided financial compensation, but what we really want is alterations in local trains to ensure such an incident is not repeated,” he said, adding, “We want CCTV cameras installed and security to be increased in local trains”.