They Kept Saying We Had Beef, But We Didn't: Brother of Teen Killed on Train
Recounting the incident, victim Junaid’s brother Shakir said their attackers kept alleging that they were carrying beef, but it wasn’t true. (TV grab/ Network18)
The family of a teenager stabbed to death onboard a train near Haryana’s Ballabhgarh said there was a communal angle to the boy’s killing, contradicting the police who had blamed the incident on a seat-sharing dispute.
New Delhi/ Ballabhgarh: With one son dead, one in hospital and two others left to carry the trauma of seeing their brother’s murder, this family in Haryana’s Ballabhgarh is awaiting justice.
“My son was studying. He used to come home only during Ramzan. Now he is dead. His skull cap was snatched and crushed. Why this hatred against us?” asks Saira whose son Junaid was stabbed to death onboard a Delhi-Mathura train near Haryana’s Ballabhgarh on Friday.
Her other son, Shakir, is admitted to AIIMS in Delhi. Recounting the incident, Shakir said their attackers kept alleging that they were carrying beef, but it wasn’t true.
“My three brothers and I were returning home after buying clothes for Eid. We boarded the train at Sadar. Some people boarded the train at Okhla and then at Kalkabad. They started abusing us, saying we were Muslims and deshdrohi (traitor). They said we should ‘go back to Pakistan’. They then threw my brother Junaid’s skull cap on the ground and pulled my other brother’s beard. They slapped us. We couldn’t do anything but only shout back at them. Four to five of them were quiet healthy and seemed to be over 30 years old. When we neared Ballabhgarh, they prevented us from getting off the train. They took out a big knife…. I haven't seen such a big knife before. They stabbed my brother. They stabbed me too. I have stitches on my neck and chest. Junaid died on the spot.”
Shakir added that none of the other passengers came to their rescue and that no policemen were present when they finally left the train. “A friend called an ambulance. We had to wait for an hour.”
“Until this train ride, I never thought someone could speak to us like that. I'm a Hindustani first, and a Muslim after that. I told them that we hadn't harmed them in any way and that we were traveling on the train like all other passengers. But they attacked us saying we were Muslim. My brother is dead. I hope the law will punish them,” Shakir told CNN-News18 from the hospital bed.
Back home, the family is plunged into mourning and looking for answers on why their son was killed.
Speaking to CNN-News18, Junaid’s mother Saira said, “We are made of the same flesh and blood. We are all one. This hatred needs to stop. What happened to my son, can happen to yours too.”
As Haryana government spokesperson Jawahar Yadav promised action, the victim’s grandfather said he expected the government to stick to its promise. “We are not satisfied…. Nobody came to help our child. We feel insecure wherever we go in the country. We want the government to ensure my grandson gets justice.”
So far, one person has been arrested, two detained and two others identified. The murder weapon was also reportedly recovered from the accused.
In police custody, one of the accused said before reporters that he was drunk at the time. "One of my friends told me to attack them as they eat cow meat. I was drunk."
The incident was condemned by political parties, with the Congress training its guns on the BJP. Party leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi took to Twitter to ask why such incidents were happening after 2014.
Shocking lynchings on mathura train. No one can xplain this as 2017 india. Why Such incidents only post 2014. Conspiracy of encouragement.— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) June 24, 2017
NDA hs lost it in J&K. Chest thumping, bravado, false nationalism &despicable killings of policemen openly. Is this BJp's final solution?— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) June 24, 2017
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said, “It is very unfortunate. This shows the atmosphere of hate and Islamophobia that is being created.”