Junaid lynching: Chargesheet claims two other witnesses, including Junaid’s brothers, friend

New Delhi: The proceedings into the brutal lynching of a 15-year-old boy Junaid Khan on a Mathura-bound train on 22 June this year have begun with the prosecution naming 45 witnesses including deceased Junaid’s brothers and friends who were also present during the crime incident.

Faridabad Sessions court has begun its case proceedings with the evidence found related to the Junaid’s lynching.

As per the 400-page charge sheet that was filed on August 23, the key witnesses to the crime include Junaid’s brothers and friends- Hashim, Shakir, Moin, Mousim who were traveling with him on the train along with two other eyewitnesses – Yudhishthir and Mahendra traveling in the same coach as Junaid’s.

Junaid, his brother Hashim, and friends Moin and Mousim, were returning from Eid shopping on a Mathura-bound train, on 22 October. A fight that broke out between Junaid’s group and some other passengers, who allegedly called them “beef-eaters” ended in the brutal stabbing of Junaid to death on board.

The two other eyewitnesses on board claim that though they were present in the same coach they did not see Junaid being stabbed by anyone.

Naresh Kumar (26) and Rameshwar Das (53) two accused among the six suspects in Junaid’s case were charged with section 302 of IPC.

The Police arrested Rameshwar was arrested on 28 June while Naresh was arrested on 8 July from Dhule district, Maharashtra.

The 54-years-old eyewitness Yudhishtar, a resident of Khambi village, Palwal in his statement claimed that he was “sitting in one corner” when the train left the Ballabgarh station. He told that the “four-five boys” who were also present in the same coach he was traveling “were not allowed to leave the train by our village people”.

“Then in the coach, we heard screams of ‘maar diya, maar diya’, so I stood up… some commuters told me that some boy stabbed Muslim boys with a knife. I saw a boy lying in a pool of blood… and two boys were holding him. Then the train stopped at Asaoti station so me and some other commuters changed our coach. I don’t know who stabbed with a knife” claimed the charge sheet.

Another eyewitness Mahendra, 29, resident of Marauli village, Hodal, in his statement told that he took the “EMU first Mathura shuttle from New Town Bata station after 7 pm” and that “when the train reached Ballabhgarh, seven-eight Muslim boys got in to our coach and started saying ‘which one was it?’…suddenly the train moved and Gaurav (an accused) and his friends didn’t let the Muslim boys get down”.

Mahendra in the chargesheet also told the police, “Then a fight began with another young commuter and a belt was used… it led to chaos on the train. And I moved back. Then a voice said, ‘chaaku maar diya, chaaku maar diya’ and there was screaming. I saw the boy who stabbed from the side but I cannot fully recognise him… neither do I know his name or address”. The chargesheet adds that both Yudhishthir and Mahendra have mentioned Rameshwar’s role in the incident. Yudhishthir has told police, “This incident of abusing Muslim boys and using derogatory words because they are Muslims was started by Rameshwar.” Mahendra has allegedly claimed, “…this fight started with Rameshwar”.

As per the chargesheet, Hashim has told police, “…At Okhla station, 15-20 commuters got into our coach. The four of us were sitting in our seats and playing Ludo. These commuters asked us to move and started pushing us around. When me and my brothers objected, two started saying derogatory things to us for being Muslims…”

Hashim also said, “When we tried getting off the train, two-three boys started beating us up and abusing us… and the rest of the people in the coach created a ruckus and didn’t let us get off. Us two brothers objected but by then the train had started moving and those who came to pick us up — Mujahid, Mousim aka Chunna and my elder brother Shakir — had also climbed on to the coach. When we objected again, two boys started giving religion-based derogatory abuses, started beating us up.”