Those who lynched Junaid on train will be punished, says Haryana CM Khattar
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar promised on Tuesday the killers of Junaid Khan, who was lynched on a train in Faridabad, will be brought to justice.
“The government will not allow anyone to take the law in his hands,” he said in an interview to Hindustan Times.
The 16-year-old Junaid was returning to his Ballabhgarh home with his brothers after Eid shopping in New Delhi on June 23. He was stabbed to death by a mob after an altercation over seats on a suburban train. The attackers called him a “beef-eater” and “anti-national”.
It was the latest in a string of fatal attacks by self-styled cow protection vigilantes on Muslims, accusing them of cattle slaughter or eating beef.
Khattar disapproved the incidents of vigilantism in the name of cow protection.
The chief minister said Junaid’s killing was not a “big conspiracy”. “There is nothing to suggest it was a planned act.”
Police arrested a man and would soon nab others involved in the crime, he said.
He dismissed allegations that right-wing Hindu groups were behind the attacks.
“Whenever the government has taken action against such elements, we haven’t come under any pressure from any quarters,” he said.
Khattar blamed “some self-styled people” for the incidents. “We are keeping a close tab on such elements.”
He said people can inform or lodge a complaint with police if they find anyone violating the law against cow slaughter. “But no one has the liberty to take the law in his hands.”
Khattar rejected remarks that the Faridabad incident hurt his government’s image. “It has nothing to do with Eid either,” he said.
Haryana, under the BJP government, was the first state in 2015 to enact a stringent law against cow slaughter, making it a non-bailable offence punishable with a 10-year jail term.
Khattar said there was a political consensus for a tougher law. “All three Muslim MLAs in Haryana had stepped forward to support the bill.”