Taking suo motu cognisance, the Railways will pay Rs 8 lakh as compensation to the family of 15-year-old Junaid Khan, who was stabbed to death in a local Mathura bound train in Ballabhgarh on June 22, according to Indian Express. The decision of the Railways comes after the arrest of the prime accused, who has confessed to having stabbed the youth to the police. The Railway Claims Tribunal (RCT) bench headed by Judicial Member Sanjiv Dutt Sharma passed the order declaring the compensation, and issued notices to the general manager of Northern Railway asking to submit a detailed report along with all photocopies of the case records, the report added. The case touted as “lynching”, had triggered a nationwide outrage.
To process the claim smoothly as per the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987 the Tribunal has also ordered its Chandigarh office to contact Junaid’s family and help them file the necessary papers for the claim. The RCT order stated that incident of brutal killing of this minor boy has pricked the conscience of this Tribunal. The bench also felt it is prima facie established that Junaid became a sufferer of an untoward incident and he was stabbed to death in a Palwal-bound EMU. The bench has also further directed the Haryana police to cooperate with the Superintendant of the RCT office in Chandigarh to prepare all paperwork by August 28, the next date of hearing, the report added.
The incident leading to Junaid’s death, the Railways maintained, pertains to “law and order”, which is a state subject to deal with. But the Tribunal has put the “lynching” in the bracket of “untoward incident,” which attracts compensation from the Centre, is a specific category defined in the Act as well as the Railways Act, 1989. Even though Railways has maintained that the incident leading to Junaid’s death pertains to “law and order” and as such is the domain of the state government, the Tribunal has put the “lynching” in the bracket of “untoward incident”— a specific category defined in the Act as well as the Railways Act, 1989, that attracts compensation from the Centre, the IE report said.
The Railway’s internal investigation from the transporter’s Security establishment described the incident as a fight between two groups of passengers over seats that led to the murder. However, Indian Express quoted a source in Rail Bhawan saying, the Tribunal’s order prevents Railways from escaping responsibility.
The incidents — Terrorist act, rioting, violent attack, robbery, dacoity, shootout or arson in or on any train carrying passengers, or in a waiting hall, cloakroom or reservation or booking office or on any platform or in any other place within the precincts of a railway station– comes under “untoward incident”. The prime accused of Junaid Khan killing was working as a security guard in Delhi was arrested from Dhule district of Maharashtra, PTI quoted a senior police officer as saying.