A man arrested in India for being part of a mob that attacked a group of four Muslim teenagers on a train has said on TV that he was goaded into it by others because Muslims ate beef. "According to the accused, there were four-five others who had helped him in attacking the youths", said Kamaldeep Goyal, superintendent of police, GRP, Ambala Cantt.
One of the Muslim passengers told NDTV later that the dispute started over seats in the crowded train but that the men who assaulted them used communal slurs and referred to them as persons who eat meat.
The CPI (M) holds that it is the sustained toxic propaganda of the sangh parivar against the minority communities which has led to such a situation where Muslims feel unsafe in public places and where such spaces have been communalized.
"I was drunk. They told me to attack the boys because they are cow eaters", the accused, Ramesh, told the police after his arrest on Friday. His brother Hashim and at least 2 others from their village were also injured in the scuffle.
The arrested accused, before being remanded to police custody by a court in Faridabad district today, told reporters that he was in an inebriated state at the time of the incident.
According to Junaid's family, such communal incidents are common on the train where the attack happened.
"We thought it was over, but they came looking for us again".
"We can not disclose the name of the accused right now". His three friends were injured, two of them critically, and are under treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences Trauma Centre in Delhi. "To save ourselves, we called the police and the emergency response number but there was no response", he said. They were later thrown out of the train at Asavati railway station as train left for Mathura. "We couldn't do anything", said Shaqir, the brother of Junaid. Their brother Hashim was also on the train with them. "We were thrashed all the way from Tughlakabad to the Ballabhgarh Railway station", the 20-year old complainant said.
The delegation, which asked the police to ascertain the political affiliation of those involved in the "horrific mob lynching", said the accused would not dare target the victim sans "political patronage" in the BJP-ruled state.