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Ballabgarh killing: Delhi government official, 3 others arrested

Last updated on: June 28, 2017 21:57 IST

A 50-year-old Delhi government employee was among four persons arrested on Wednesday in connection with the killing of a Muslim youth on board a Mathura-bound train, the police said.
With these arrests the number of those held in the case, which triggered nation-wide outrage, has reached five but the 'prime accused' is still at large, they added.

"We have arrested four more persons, including three youths, aged between 24 and 30 years and a 50-year-old man," Kamaldeep Goel, the Superintendent of Police, Government Railway Police, Faridabad, told PTI over phone.

MHA not to seek reports on attacks in Haryana, Jharkhand
In a departure from the past, the Centre will not seek any report from Haryana and Jharkhand where two Muslim men were thrashed in separate incidents, leading to the death of one of them and critically injuring the other.

A home ministry spokesperson said normal law and order issues are handled by the state governments and the Centre has no role in it.

"A report is sought only when the incident has wider ramifications or has an internal security angle and the central paramilitary force has to be provided to the state government. So far, no report has been sought from Haryana and Jharkhand governments," the spokesperson said.

The BJP is in power at the Centre as well as in Haryana and Jharkhand.

In 2015, when one Mohammed Akhlaq was lynched by a mob at Dadri, the home ministry had sought a report from the Uttar Pradesh government and also asked the state government to ensure that no such incident took place in future.

In April this year, the home ministry had sought a report from the Rajasthan government after a dairy farmer was lynched by cow vigilantes in Alwar.

The 50-year-old arrested on Wednesday is a Delhi government employee while the three others were doing some private jobs, Deputy Superintendent of Police, GRP, Faridabad, Mohinder Singh said.

The accused persons belong to areas close to Hodal near Palwal in Faridabad and are believed to be regular commuters, according to police officials.

Goel said that with these arrests, the sequence of events which led to the stabbing of Junaid has also, to a large extent, become clear.

Junaid, 17, was stabbed when he along with his brothers was returning home to Khandawli village in Ballabgarh after shopping for Eid in Delhi on Thursday.

Goel said that it had come to fore that the 50-year-old man had entered into an altercation with Junaid and his brothers over seat sharing.

"He then passed some remarks hurting the victims' religious sentiments. Our investigations reveal that this 50-year-old man entered into an argument with the victim and his brothers from Okhla over seats.

"However three youths who had boarded the train at New Town Faridabad station also got involved in the quarrel with the 50-year-old man egging them on," Goel said.

Asked if the person who had stabbed Junaid had been nabbed, the SP said the 'prime accused' was still at large.

He, however, expressed confidence that 'now, we have got crucial leads and he too will be in custody soon'.

Earlier on Wednesday, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar condemned the incident.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event, Khattar said the government would not allow anyone to take the law in their hands.

"The action in the case is being taken as per ongoing investigations. Whatever action is deemed fit will be taken," he said.

Asked from where the four accused were arrested on Wednesday, DSP Mohinder Singh said, "We have questioned several people during the past few days. On the basis of statements taken from some of the passengers in the train, we had summoned a few suspects at the office of the crime branch at Faridabad today. After the role of the four was established, we arrested them."

He said the accused belong to areas close to Hodal near Palwal in Faridabad. They are all believed to be regular commuters who used to take the EMU train to New Delhi from the Haryana town.

Junaid was stabbed to death while his brothers -- Hashim and Sakir -- were injured by a mob which also allegedly hurled slurs against them on board the Delhi-Mathura passenger train between Ballabgarh and Mathura stations on Thursday night.

Junaid's body was dumped close to Asaoti village in Faridabad district.

Police had earlier announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for credible information leading to arrest of the accused in the case.

One person who had been arrested earlier had been remanded to judicial custody by a court in Faridabad district.

The accused person arrested earlier, while speaking to reporters, had alleged that he was in an inebriated state and had attacked the teenager after being instigated by fellow passengers.

The incident was also condemned by Union Information and Broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist had also sent a delegation to meet the victim's family.

The delegation asked the police to ascertain the political affiliation of those involved in the 'horrific mob lynching' and said the accused would not have dared to target the victim sans 'political patronage' in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state.

Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had also visited the victim's family yesterday and condemned the incident.

Junaid's brothers had told reporters earlier that the attackers taunted and repeatedly called them 'anti-nationals' and 'beef eaters'.

IMAGE: Citizens hold placards during a silent protest 'Not in My Name' against targeted lynchings, in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Photograph: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI Photo

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