Haryana : The four brothers had gone to Delhi’s Sadar Bazar to shop for Eid. They boarded a train from Sadar Bazar and got into a fight over seats with some men who called them “beef-eaters” and “anti-nationals”. After two hours of violence on the train that night, Hashim was allowed to get off at Asota with Hafiz Junaid’s body and his two brothers, who too were badly injured.
Hashim, one of the four youths attacked on a Mathura-bound train, says he hasn’t slept since the incident took place on Thursday. He regrets not being able to save Junaid, his younger brother who died of stab wounds, following an argument with fellow passengers, that soon took a communal turn.
“I get flashes at night. I cannot close my eyes. The moment I do, I feel as if it is all happening again before my eyes,” says Hashim, his hands trembling, voice shaky. He takes a break, closes his eyes and continues. “It is impossible to get rid of the image of Junaid lying in my lap, soaked in blood. His white kurta had turned red. His screams, which became louder with every stab, are still echoing in my ears,” he says.
The brothers had gone to Delhi’s Sadar Bazar to shop for Eid on Thursday. They boarded a train from Sadar Bazar and got into a fight over seats with some unidentified men who called them “beef-eaters” and “anti-nationals”. The altercation later turned bloody. After two hours of violence on the train that night, Hashim was allowed to get off at Asota with Junaid’s dead body and his two brothers, who too were badly injured.
“They started calling us names and said we were unpatriotic and anti-nationals and then started hitting us. They were pointing at a packet which had food and saying that we should not be allowed to sit since we were carrying beef,” said Haseem.
“My friends said this,” the accused who was arrested admitted on camera that he was told by his friends to attack the Muslim boys because they ate beef.
He said when asked by reporters if he attacked the four Muslim boys because they eat beef. “I was drunk” he added, identifying himself as Ramesh.
However, the police complaint or FIR that was filed by one of the victims does not mention beef. Police officials say that the passengers erupted into violence after arguing over seats.
“They started fighting over seats in the compartment, as is alleged in the FIR. Then there are also allegations that some words which hurt religious sentiments were said after which things got out of hand,” said Kamal Deep Goyal, Superintendent of Police, Ballabgarh.
“A day later, when I was alone at night in the room with all the lights switched off, I cried my heart out. I could not save my brother. I lost him. The feeling sank in much later. I still wish if I could turn back time and do something to stop those men from butchering my brother. The images of blood on the ground and on the walls of that train, when my brother was running around to find a way out to escape, will haunt me forever,” he says.
In the same breath he adds, “What did we do to deserve this treatment? I do not understand why they started calling us names. I know nothing about nationalism. All I know is that I am an Indian. This is my home.”