The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday granted bail to Rameshwar Dass, one of the six men who had been arrested for allegedly lynching 16-year-old Junaid Khan, The Indian Express reported. Only one of the accused, Naresh Kumar, is still in jail.
Dass, a 52-year-old health inspector in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, is accused of using communal slurs against Khan. He told the court that he had not been named in the first information report, and that the altercation with the 16-year-old was “only a sudden fight over seat sharing” while they were travelling by train, The Times of India reported.
“Even as per the FIR, I was not shown to be involved in the said fight as it was stated to be between the victim and two to three boys who were travelling in the same coach of the train,” Dass told the court. “Even otherwise, the role attributed to me was similar to that of the three other accused who have already been granted bail.”
Junaid Khan, his brother and two cousins were attacked on a Mathura-bound train on June 22, 2017, allegedly by a mob that hurled communal slurs at them. The teenager was stabbed to death while his brothers were hospitalised with stab wounds.
On March 19, the Supreme Court said it would look into his father Jalaluddin Khan’s plea to hand over the murder case to the Central Bureau of Investigation. He had moved the top court after the Punjab and Haryana High Court turned down his plea for a CBI inquiry on March 6.