His dying image will haunt me forever: Brother of Muslim boy lynched on train
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.
“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.”
Mausim, who too was attacked and sustained injuries that night, comforts Hashim.
“Why is there so much hatred against us?” Mausim says. “Why were we cornered like that? To escape their blows and knife stabs, I hid under the seat of the train. I will never be able to forget helplessly looking at my brothers getting thrashed and then stabbed,” he says. “There were so many people on the train, but not a single person stood up to help us. The men instead kept saying that we were beef eaters and deserved to die,” he says.
Hashim interrupts Mausim. “They attacked us because we were wearing skull caps. Instead of saving us the crowd was egging the attackers on. They held us by our arms, while the men pierced our bodies with their knives. Our screams for help fell on deaf ears…” he cries.
Before he could finish, a group of men come to take them to the GRP police station. “They are calling you to identify the men. Thy have detained a few persons,” a man says. “Now, we will have to recall the entire episode for the 300th time. I just wish to go home and talk to no one,” Hashim says, before leaving.