Ballabhgarh Lynching: 5 Arrests, But Main Accused Still at Large

Junaid’s family claims the four accused arrested by police were involved in killing Junaid. 

4 min read

Junaid was stabbed to death and his brothers were injured by a mob that allegedly hurled slurs against them onboard the Delhi-Mathura passenger train.
We have strong clues on the main accused who stabbed Junaid and injured his brothers. Soon he will be behind bars.

On Thursday, four accused arrested in connection with the Hafiz Junaid lynching case were produced before the Faridabad court by the Haryana Police – all four were sent to two-days’ police remand. Among these four arrested are 50-year-old Rameshwar, a health inspector in Delhi government; 20-year-old Chandra Prakash, a graduate and employee at a private company; 30-year-old Pradeep, MBA, and works for a private company; and 22-year-old Gaurav, who also works for a private company. The fifth, Ramesh, who is a factory worker, was arrested a few days prior.

Speaking about Rameshway, Kamaldeep Goyal, SP of Government Railway Police, said this:

Rameshwar is a quarrelsome man. Had he not fought for a seat inside the train and not made religious slurs, this incident would have never taken place.

Police suspect that the main accused, who stabbed Junaid, was present inside the train from Okhla station and he too was injured when the scuffle broke out, but he has not been caught. Police claim that he is visible in CCTV footage – one of the three men who can be seen on a bike.

According to police, the person wearing the blue shirt on the bike is the one who stabbed Junaid. 
According to police, the person wearing the blue shirt on the bike is the one who stabbed Junaid. 
CCTV footage

All four of the arrested on Wednesday belong to Khambi village near Hodal in Haryana. According to police, all four are known to each other and have confessed to their crime. During interrogation, they have reportedly denied knowing the main accused.

Victim's Family Has Identified All Four Accused

The four accused arrested on Wednesday were identified based on the evidence police have gathered from different sources.

We identified these four arrested accused when they were paraded before us on Wednesday. They were involved in beating and jostling with us [Junaid and his brothers].
Hashim, Victim and Junaid’s brother

But surprisingly, police claim that the family has not seen the accused. As per the law, the accused is supposed to be presented before the court before any other action is carried out.

According to police, the arrested four reportedly refused a test identification parade (where an offender is brought before witnesses and victims for identification) when they were produced in the Faridabad court.

Eight people were called for questioning from the Khambi village on Wednesday, of whom four were let off due to a lack of connecting evidence.

The four accused arrested on Wednesday, in police custody.
The four accused arrested on Wednesday, in police custody.
(Photo: Poonam Agarwal/The Quint)
One of the biggest constraints in lynching cases is tracking the culprits. We will ensure that no innocent is arrested
Kamaldeep Goyal, SP, Government Railway Police

What It Appears Happened on 22 June

So far, police have recorded statements of six witnesses and the five accused. Based on the evidence they collected, a timeline of events has emerged.

The quarrel between Junaid and the accused started over a seat, after Rameshwar got on the train from Okhla station. At some point, other passengers intervened and calmed the situation. After the two to three minutes of quarrelling, Junaid and his brothers left the seat and moved on to another seat in the same coach.

When the train reached Ballabhgarh station, the fight once again broke out when a few people known to the accused got onto the train. During the heated altercation, religious slurs were hurled, which quickly charged the atmosphere inside the train.

Three to four minutes later, the fight took a vicious turn when one of the men fatally stabbed Junaid. While his brothers were also injured, Junaid lay bleeding to death on the platform.

Now, Junaid’s family has alleged the involvement of 15-20 people in the lynching and police say many more arrests will be made soon.

No CCTV Cameras in the Railway Station

One of the biggest hurdles for the investigation is the lack of CCTV footage. According to police, no CCTV cameras are installed at the Okhla Railway station or in Ballabhgarh. The only CCTV footage that police could lay their hands on was from the camera installed on the streets outside the station.

We had written several times to the government asking for installation of CCTVs at the railway stations. We will write to the government for CCTVs once again, not just for railway stations, but also inside the trains
Kamaldeep Goel, SP, Government Railway Police

According to police, commuters do not feel safe anymore inside trains aftre this incident. Soon, police will initiate community policing in Faridabad station by engaging a few daily passengers in spreading communal harmony by keeping a watch for rogue elements.

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