The Uttar Pradesh Navnirman Sena, a radical Hindutva outfit based in Meerut, is planning to field Naresh Kumar Sehrawat, accused of murdering 16-year-old Junaid Khan, in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Khan was stabbed to death following an argument over seats in a Mathura-bound train in June 2017.
The UP Navnirman Sena is also planning to field Shambhu Lal Raigar, who hacked a Muslim man to death in December 2017, and Hariom Sisodia, one of the 17 accused in the lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq in September 2015.
While Sisodia and Rajgar will contest from the Lok Sabha constituencies of Gautam Budh Nagar and Agra in Uttar Pradesh, respectively, Amit Jani, president of the UP Navnirman Sena, wants Sehrawat to stand from Faridabad in Haryana.
"We plan to field the man accused of murdering Junaid. We will declare it soon," Jani told HuffPost India today.
"I spoke to Naresh when he came to court and I have spoken with his family. They are supporting us," he said. "We haven't announced it formally yet because his bail date is on October 4. If this gets highlighted, then who knows. What if it is a leftist judge?"
On why he wanted to field a a man accused of murder, Jani claimed that it was Junaid who had misbehaved with an elderly passenger on the train and that it was natural for other passengers on the train to have reacted. "There was no communal matter. This was not a fight over beef," he said.
It is alleged that a group of men hurled communal slurs at 16-year-old Junaid, his brother and two friends, who had boarded the Mathura-bound train in New Delhi and were returning home to Ballabhgarh, Haryana, after shopping for Eid. This group of men, who had also boarded the train Delhi, asked Junaid and his companions to vacate their seats. Initial reports said that words like "beef eater" and "anti national" were used during an argument over seats. Junaid's brother said that his skull cap was flung and his beard pulled.
Junaid and his friends phoned their relatives to meet them at the Ballabhgarh station, but they were not allowed to disembark. A knife fight ensued and Junaid was stabbed on the moving train and thrown at the Asaoti station.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has said that the fight had nothing to do with religion. The clash, it said, was "only regarding the seat sharing and abuses in the name of castes and nothing more".
The trial court, which the high court overruled, had said that the victims had been abused in the name of religion and that Sehrawat had inflicted injuries with a sharp weapon. The FIR (First Information Report) registered in the case says that the victims had been abused in the name of their religion.
Alleging the state investigating agency has carried out a shoddy and unfair investigation, Jalaludeen, Juanid's father, has demanded an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Jani said that he had visited Sehrawat's family in Bhamrola village in Haryana. "I met his father Inder Singh, his brother Suresh, and the village sarpanch, Virender Singh. They are all ready," he said.
Of his brief meeting with Sehrawat during his court appearance, Jani said, "The police did not allow me to speak too much. There was a look of consent on his face. He said he would do what his family wants."
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