A 16-year-old Muslim boy was stabbed to death and three others were beaten up by a mob after they were returning home from Eid shopping. Junaid Khan, along with four others, was returning home from a Mathura-bound train when a group of men attacked them. The incident of mob violence took place between Okhla and Asoti in Haryana on Thursday evening. The attackers allegedly called Muslim boys “Anti-nationals” “Mulla” and “Beefeaters”.
According to Indian Media (Hindustan Times) Junaid Khan, along with his elder brother Hashim and three others – Moeen, Shaqir and Mohseen – was on his way home in Ballabgarh on a Mathura-bound train. A day before the attack Junaid and Hashim attained the title of a “Hafiz”. They were returning from Delhi’s Jama Masjid area after shopping for Eid. A group of men entered the train, made religious remarks and then attacked them with knives. While Junaid was stabbed to death, four others sustained stab wounds and were admitted in hospital later.
“They flung our skull caps, pulled my brother’s beard, slapped us, and taunted us about eating cow meat. Beef is not even cooked in our village. Once we reached Ballabhgarh, they took out knives. They were older than us — probably in their 30s — so we couldn’t do anything,” Shaqir told India Media while recalling the horrific incident. “They noticed we are Muslims because of our clothing and began taunting us. It would go on for a bit, then stop, then start again. First they slapped us, then abused us, and then between Ballabhgarh and Asaoti stations, they stabbed us,” said Shaqir, who is admitted at AIIMS Trauma Centre in Delhi.
Saira, Junaid’s mother, was oblivious to the news of her son’s death. Till Friday morning she was not informed about it. When the women from the village started visiting her to console her, she wondered why they were there.
“Women kept coming and asking me about Junaid. I wondered why they were referring to him in the past tense. No one ever told me that he was no more. How could they hide it from me,” she said, fighting back her tears.
“I got to know only when his body returned home this morning. When he did not reach home last night, I kept asking his father about his whereabouts but no one answered me,” she said.
Saira said she will never be able to celebrate the festival of Eid. “This time it was special. My sons became the Hafiz. The preservers. And a day later I lost him. How can this be justified. How am I to cope up with this loss?”