NEW DELHI: Naresh, the prime accused in the murder of 17-year-old Junaid Khan on a local train near Ballabhgarh, reportedly told police on Sunday that the incident was fallout of an argument over a seat. The thirty-year-old, who was arrested on Saturday in Maharashtra’s Dhule district, claimed he was drawn into the argument when he tried to intervene in a scuffle between a Delhi government employee and Junaid’s brothers.

Kamaldeep Goyal, SP (GRP Ambala Cantt), said Naresh would be questioned further to establish the sequence of events. “We tracked him via CCTV footage. He has admitted that he stabbed Junaid multiple times. So far, none of the accused has claimed that the argument started over beef,” said Goyal. Asked if more arrests could be made in the case, Goyal said: “During the main accused’s interrogation, this should become clear.”

The accused told police that he was a resident of Faridabad. He used to work as a security guard, but had lost the job. He was looking for work and would come to Delhi on a daily basis. He was a regular commuter of the local train on which he had an argument with Junaid and his brothers, Haseem and Shaqir.

On the day of the incident, Naresh had boarded the train from Shivaji Bridge railway station and was travelling in the fourth compartment. He claimed that he had bought the knife — the alleged murder weapon, yet to be recovered — from a roadside stall for household use. He claimed to have stabbed Junaid during a brawl, which ensued when the latter’s brother, Shaqir, attacked others with a belt. Naresh reportedly claimed to have stabbed Junaid eight times in a fit of rage.

The accused said the argument began soon after the train left Okhla. After the initial scuffle with four passengers — arrested earlier — Junaid and his brothers got off at Bata Chowk station and boarded the next coach, he said. When the train reached Ballabgarh, Shaqir and a few others got on to the train after which a second scuffle took place.

During this, Naresh cornered Junaid and stabbed him. He tried to get off at the next station, but could not move towards the gate due to the crowd.

Police said Naresh started panicking when people gathered around Junaid. He called two of his friends and asked them to meet him at Asaoti station. Amid the confusion, he managed to flee .

“CCTV footage from Gandhi Ghar near Asaoti station was crucial evidence, which led us to identify him, sitting pillion on a motorbike,” said a police officer. He disposed of the knife on his way to Faridabad. Police sources said Naresh panicked further when reports of incident were flashed on television. On June 28, he contacted a relative staying at Dhule and sought shelter at his house.

It was Haseem who had identified Naresh and helped police prepare his sketch. Naresh was on Sunday produced before a court, which sent him to a two-day police remand.