NEW DELHI: It was to have been a happy occasion. Young Muslim boys, studying at a madarsa in Surat, Gujarat had come home to their village in Haryana for Eid. Three brothers along with a young friend had gone to Delhi for Eid shopping and caught the local train to Ballabgarh, just on the border, where their village Khatoli was.

In the train some boys and a middle aged man started taunting the boys. The taunts turned to filthy abuse. One of the boys protested, and this was all that the other group needed. They fell upon the boys, started beating and thrashing them, and mid way pulled out knives and started stabbing them. The entire compartment joined the assailants with the Muslim boys becoming the targets.

Shakir, tried to save his younger brother Junaid, but was unable to. Junaid, just 15 years old died there in the compartment. The Ballabgarh station came and went, and the young boys were not even able to get out as they were physically prevented by the entire compartment that had become a mob. After the train passed the station, they were along with Junaids dead body thrown out. Locals there rushed and took them to a local hospital in Palwal.

Their family had no idea. The police did not bother and word came to them from what can roughly be described as the rural grapevine. The brothers have now been brought to the All India Medical Institute as their condition was very serious. Shakir sustained three deep stab wounds, apart from the bashing and kicking that went on for ever. The mob tried to slit his throat and there is a gash from his ear across. One knife stab missed just missed his lung.

The boys are from a very poor famil. Their elder brother runs a small dhaba.

The only politicians to rush to the spot as news of the terrible incident was confirmed were CPI(M)s Brinda Karat, Asha Sharma and Mohammad Saleem. Speaking to The Citizen Brinda was simply aghast at the nature of the violence where the brothers were targeted just because of their religious identity. What she found most terrifying was that while the trouble was started by a group of about four others, the entire packed compartments turned into a mob and joined in the attack.

“It is now just mob rule instigated by these Sanghis,” she said.

No one from the Haryana government has gone to the village to meet the family. No one has been arrested for the wanton murder and attack. The Congress that is in Opposition in the state has not bothered to react. No one from the party in Haryana has issued a statement or met the completely traumatised family who have been left with a dead son on the eve of the festival that they had all gathered to celebrate.