Haryana Police on Saturday arrested a man in Maharashtra’s Dhule who had allegedly stabbed 15-year-old Junaid Khan on board a Mathura-bound train on June 22, ANI reported. Officials identified the accused as Naresh Rakh, News18 reported. “I thank the media for continuously covering this story and the police for their pursuit of the murderer,” Jalaluddin, the teenager’s father said.
The victim’s father made a public appeal to the government asking them to introduce an anti-lynching law. “It was my Junaid this time,” Jalaluddin said. “It could be anybody’s Junaid next.”
The Station House Officer said the team was yet to find the murder weapon, News18 reported.
On July 4, the Haryana Railway Police had doubled the reward for any credible leads the case, The Hindu reported. They raised the amount from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh. Officials said that the dearth in eyewitnesses willing to come forward made them increase the amount, reported The Indian Express.
On June 22, Junaid and three of his brothers had boarded a local train from Delhi’s Sadar Bazar Station. A fight broke out between some passengers and the brothers over seats. The incident allegedly turned communal after a mob repeatedly called the brothers “anti-nationals” and “beef eaters” and threw their skull caps on the floor. Junaid was killed in the fight, while his brothers were hospitalised with stab wounds.
Five people have been arrested by the police so far. The accused are currently lodged in Neemka Jail, Faridabad. The police said all of them claimed they did not wield the knife that killed Junaid, but admitted to being a part of the mob that had hurled abuses at and manhandled the boys.
Pieces of bloodstained clothes, including two shirts, were also recovered from those arrested. The police said the clothes had been sent for DNA testing to a laboratory in Bhondsi, Gurgaon.
On June 28, citizens had gathered in at least 10 cities after Gurgaon-based documentary filmmaker Saba Dewan called for a peaceful protest at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar. The protests gained traction in other parts of the country after the nationwide demonstrations.