Ballabhgarh: It is a sombre Eid in Haryana’s Ballabhgarh, the home of 17-year-old Junaid who was stabbed to death by a mob onboard a train three days before the festival.
Junaid’s family, friends and other residents of his neighbourhood are sitting in protest with black bands around their arms. “We offered namaaz, but we won’t celebrate the festival. We want those responsible for our son’s death to be punished,” says Junaid’s father.
He is surrounded by others wearing similar black bands and sitting in protest.
Junaid’s brother Shakir, who was also injured in the attack, at first refuses to speak about his brother, wiping away his tears. Encouraged by those around to speak up, Shakir recounts the horror his family went through on June 23.
Shakir, Junaid and their two brothers were returning home on the Delhi-Mathura passenger express after shopping for Eid. “Some men boarded the train in Okhla. They looked hefty. One of them saw our skull caps and started abusing us. They called us Pakistanis, asked us to ‘go back to Pakistan’. They alleged that we were carrying beef. We tried to reason with them but they attacked us and threw away our skull caps. They stabbed my brother Junaid with a long knife.”
“There was no seat-sharing issue. My son Junaid had even offered his seat to an elderly man. My son was killed over his religious identity,” says Junaid’s father.
Asked if someone from the Haryana government had got in touch with the family, he said, “No one from the government has contacted us so far. We want justice.”
One person has been arrested in the case so far.