Jalaluddin Khan says his world is falling apart — he has lost a son, his wife is ill and still in shock, he's depressed and having to attend court dates, his sons are recuperating from a vicious knife attack on a train, and the family is surviving on donations.
The father of 16-year-old Junaid Khan, who was stabbed to death by a mob on a train at Ballabhgarh in Haryana on 22 June, is recovering from an operation. He was brought to Noida's Metro Hospital on Monday night after he suffered a heart attack — which he says was brought on by the loss of his young son and the constant worrying about the bail granted to some of the accused in the lynching.
Junaid's brothers Hasib, 21, and Shakir, 23, were injured when a mob attacked them with knives inside a train, allegedly following a dispute over a seat. Images of him lying in a pool of blood at Ballabgarh railway station, ahead of Eid, led to a storm of criticism over attacks over the minority community across the country.
Junaid's brothers told Hindustan Times that the attackers repeatedly called them "anti-nationals" — a term BJP supporters on social media regularly use to brand anyone whose political opinion differs from their's.
"I kept worrying about the four men who got bail... I fell ill," Jalaluddin tells HuffPost India over the phone from the hospital where he had undergone an angioplasty.
"There's no justice, there's no justice at all," he says.
Earlier, Hasib identified four arrested accused when they were paraded before him. He had said they were involved in the beating.
"Kamaana, khaana sab bandh ho gaya hai (our earnings have stopped)," Jalaluddin says, adding that their days are spent attending court dates. His sons are recuperating from injuries, and his wife has taken ill. "We live on donations from kind people," he says. "Junaid's mother hasn't overcome the shock of losing him, so haven't I," he says.
The CPI-M recently held a solidarity meet at Junaid's home in Khandawali village in Faridabad district and handed over cheques of Rs 10 lakh to the family. The Haryana government had announced Rs 10 lakh as compensation.
Chhaya Malhotra, spokesperson of Metro Hospital at Noida Sector 12, tells HT that his condition was stable. "Jalaluddin was admitted to our hospital due to a heart attack. Doctors are attending to him as of now," she says.
In an appeal to media, Kiran Shaheen, a journalist and activist, says Jalaluddin could not find admission in any government hospital (they went to AIIMS and Safdarjung).
"Somehow Junaid's family have managed to pay the initial amount to the hospital but further they are not able to meet the cost of the treatment. In most probability his father will go for operation in a day or two. Needless to say the family is too poor to get the proper treatment without external help," she says in a message sent out to journalists' groups.