The family of the prime accused in the Junaid murder case on Sunday alleged that he had acted out of “self-defence”.Sitting on a charpoy outside his modest two-room house on the outskirts of Bhamrola village here, Naresh’s 55-year-old father Inder Singh said, “He had acted out of self-defence. Had he not stabbed Junaid and his brothers, they would have killed him.”
Mr. Singh, who prematurely quit his job in the Army and is now a farmer, claimed that his son had no criminal record and was a staunch follower of Baba Ramdev.He said Naresh had got involved in the argument after Junaid and his friends misbehaved with an elderly man (Rameshwar Sharma, another accused in the case) and refused to share a seat with him.He emphasised that the incident was given communal colour for political reasons and it was a minor argument that turned violent.
Naresh’s uncle Sahaj Ram, an ex-sarpanch, contended that the matter was sorted out after heated arguments in Okhla, but it turned violent when Junaid’s brother Shakir and his friends boarded the train from Ballabgarh railway station.
“Junaid and his friends had moved to another coach at Tughlaqabad railway station and the matter was sorted out. But they called their brother and friends and again got into the same coach, and attacked Naresh and others with belts and chains. They were then about to attack him with a knife, when he managed to snatch it and stabbed them in self-defence,” said Mr. Ram.
Naresh, who has studied till the senior secondary level, had been working as a security guard at Krishi Anusandhan Parishad in Delhi along with his elder brother Suresh for the past over 13 months and would commute by local train. Suresh was also travelling in the same train, though in a different coach, the day the incident happened.
When Suresh got down at Palwal railway station and called up Naresh, the latter told him that he had had a fight in the train and had gotten down at Asaoti railway station.
“He then took a lift on a motorcycle from a Muslim youth from outside Asaoti railway station and reached home around 9 p.m. When we asked him about his head injuries, he said he had had a fight with some youth. The next morning, we got to know about the murder from newspapers,” said Mr. Singh.
He further said that he had advised Naresh to surrender, but the latter was disturbed and left for Vrindavan two days later. He returned after a couple of days and went to Dhule in Maharashtra and got a job in a private company with the help of a friend.
However, he ran short of luck when the police stumbled upon a CCTV footage and the Muslim youth riding the motorcycle was identified as Javed of Asaoti village. Tracking the lead, the police picked up Suresh from his workplace on July 7 and his father and arrested Naresh from Dhule.
Naresh was in a live-in relationship. “The woman had come over to stay with him a week before the incident and had gone to Dhule with him,” said Mr. Singh.