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Junaid murder case: Panchayat demands release of 4 arrested, terms them innocent

A grand panchayat was held on Sunday in Khambi village in Palwal district in connection with Junaid’s murder case. According to an Amar Ujala report, this maha-panchayat strongly resented the arrest of four youths from the village and held that these youths were innocents and had no role in killing Junaid.

“The police is yet to arrest the real culprits. In order to hide its inability to bring Junaid’s murderers to justice, the police is framing innocent people in this case,” the panchayat said.

Panchayat also decided to hold massive protests if the four arrested were not released by the 11th of this month.

“The manner in which the police raided the village and arrested four people on June 26 midnight is barbaric and highly objectionable,” the panchayat said. According to a Tribune report, the police allegedly misbehaved with women and children. Villagers allege the same.

Sarpanchs of various villages of Palwal district and social workers were among those who attended the maha-panchayat. The maha-panchayat had a sizable representation from the Muslim community too.

The panchayat, which assembled at a Temple, prayed for Junaid’s departed soul to rest in heaven. Lekhraj Sharma, Palwal district president of Brahman Sabha, presided over the maha-panchayat. Stating that it is deeply saddened by the killing of Junaid, the panchayat said it wants the real culprits be brought to justice the earliest.

“This pachayat will fully cooperate the police and administration in bringing the real culprits to justice. But no innocent should be punished. The police must immediately release the four innocent people arrested in connection to the case,” it said.

The panchayat demanded an independent probe into Junaid lynching case. The panchayat said it is vociferously against those who try to create a communal divide following Junaid’s killing. It called for boycotting those who were looking to score political brownie points on the issue and disturb the communal harmony.

A committee of 51 members too reportedly has been formed, which will try to meet the Chief Minister and share their concerns. The maha-panchayat was addressed by women too, who reiterated that police misbehaved with them, and warned that they will strike back if police tried to enter the village and force their way again.

17-year-old Junaid, a resident of Khandawali village of Palwal district, was returning home along with his brothers after Eid shopping in Delhi when he was stabbed onboard Delhi-Mathura passenger train between Ballabgarh and Mathura stations on 22 June. Junaid succumbed to his injuries in Civil Hospital, Palwal. His brothers – Hashim and Sakir – were also injured in the bloody fight.

According to reports, the fight started over seat sharing, but took communal colour as the assailants identified religion of Junaid and his brothers from their attire. Haryana Police has so far arrested five people in this case. A local court in Faridabad sent four of the five arrested accused to a 14-day judicial custody. The main accused is believed to be still at large.

Haryana Police has also announced a reward of Rs 2 lakh for anyone giving information on those involved in the murder.

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