Faridabad: The police on Sunday once again claimed that the lynching of Junaid had nothing to do with beef. Addressing a press conference after the arrest of the key accused, Government Railway Police SP Kamaldeep said he has confessed to stabbing the 16-year-old on the Delhi-Mathura train during police interrogation, but did not give any statement on beef. “There is no case about beef,” he said.
Naresh Rath, a security guard who worked in Delhi, was arrested on Saturday from Maharashtra’s Dhule after police received a tip-off that he had been hiding at a relative’s house there for the past two weeks. The SP said that police will produce him before a magistrate here on Sunday and will seek three-days in police custody.
Junaid’s murder, on a local train near Ballabgarh on June 22, had triggered nationwide outrage with several coming out on the streets in protest.
The 16-year-old boy had succumbed to his injuries after nobody helped him reach a hospital, according to his brother Haseeb. Haseeb also said that his skull cap was flung, his beard pulled, while the crowd hurled abuses at them.
According to the police, Naresh, who is in his thirties, has confessed that the knife with which Junaid was stabbed was in his hand. However, the murder weapon has still not been recovered.
He told the police that he was from Faridabad and took the local train in which the crime took place on a daily basis. He had boarded the local on that day from Shivaji Bridge station and had an argument with Junaid and his brothers Haseem and Shakil over the seats.
Haseem said that even after the matter was resolved, Naresh and the others followed him to the other compartment and passed racial slurs like ‘anti-national’ and ‘beef-eater’ at them. He added that the men also accused them of carrying beef.
It was Haseem who helped identify Naresh, after which cops prepared a sketch. Police said that they will now put him in a line-up before the eyewitnesses to confirm that he was at the crime scene. The police may also take a ride on the local train to construct a sequence of events.
Earlier, the police had arrested several people, including a 50-year-old Delhi government employee, in connection with the murder.
Junaid's father Jalaluddin told CNN-News18 that he had just come to know of arrest and the police were bringing the accused back to Delhi. "I thank the media for continuously covering this story and the police for their pursuit of the murderer," he said, adding that everybody who was behind his son's killing should be arrested as soon as possible.
Exhorting the government to bring an anti-lynching law, Jalaluddin said: “I urge the government to ensure such incidents don't occur again. It was my Junaid this time. It could be anybody's Junaid next.”