A note on Aman ki Pahel and National Alliance of People’s Movements activists’ visit to the family of Junaid, who was lynched in train near Faridabad, Haryana, a year ago:
On 18th June, the first death anniversary of Hafiz Junaid, the members of “Aman ki Pahel” and National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) met the family members of Shaheed Junaid in Khandavali village. In 2017, two days before Eid, Junaid was brutally murdered by a communal mob in moving train near Faridabad, Haryana.
We came to know that only one of the culprits is in the jail right now while the rest got bail from the High Court. Hence, his family is going to file the case in the Supreme Court.
Shaheed Junaid’s brother Hashim is the main witness in the case, therefore, his life is also under threat. He teaches in a mosque. We did not feel at all that the family living in a safe place, away from all the perils. The family needs legal help and protection. They are thankful for their well-wishers who are worried for them.
Junaid’s mother, Sayra, has only one question, “Under whose pressure did these bails have been granted?” She prays that whatever happened to her son should never happen to anyone. She wonders if the people in authority would have grated the bail to the killers of their own child. She mournfully said “This year, the Ramadan fast is for 16 hours, it was for 17 hours last year. My son died with thirst on his lips!”
Even humanity would also feel ashamed to answer the questions of Shaheed Junaid’s mother.
There were rage and agony on the face of his mother against the police-administration, but there was no sign of any type of communal complain or remark from her as well as from other family members. They are only worried that whatever happened to their child should not happen to anyone and that if the culprits are not punished then such incidents will continue to take place.
When we asked about that fateful day, Hashim began to narrate us the horrifying incident. But we had to stop him in the middle as we did not have enough courage to listen more about the brutal attack. In the deserted Khandavali village graveyard lay Shaheed Junaid. The grave is covered with soil with a gravestone inscribed with an epitaph in Urdu. We prayed there and we promised to continue the fight for his justice.
People of the Mewat region believe in the Gotra system. The Gotra of Shaheed Junaid’s family is Brahmaadvat. His family is a simple penurious family. Khandav means which is given in dowry. About 400 years ago, when a Brahmin youth adopted Islam as his religion, his family disowned him. His wife decided to go with him. At that time, the family members of the wife said that we will give you only that land on which you will walk with a pitcher on your head. The land on which the girl walked, later was established as Khandavali village.
Now there is no need to regret on the fact that after 70 years of independence, in the country, where the Hindus and the Muslims fought together, side by side, for its freedom, there still are particularistic people who are successful in their divisive agenda. This somewhere raises serious questions about our democratic strength as a democratic country. We have to be strong enough to prevent the attack of such communally charged mob network on our democracy and democratic values.
On Junaid’s gravestone, along with his name, birth and death date, the fact that he was martyred in a moving train amidst hatred and rage, and prayers for his soul, there is a couplet engraved which reads:
“Asamaan teri lahad par shabnam afshani kare,
Sabz-e-nau rusta us ghar ki nigahbaani kare.”