Ryan school murder: New CBI twist raises questions over Gurgaon police probe into Pradyumn’s death

In haste of closing the probe into the murder of an eight-year-old student in Gurugram’s Ryan International school and the media spotlight may have made the police commit several mistakes and overlook key clues, the victim’s family and legal experts alleged on Wednesday.

The charges came hours when the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) detained a class 11 student of the same school and aforesaid the older boy allegedly committed the murder to get examinations and a parent-teacher meeting delayed.

Barun Thakur, the daddy of the victim Pradyumn Thakur, asked Hindustan Times how the police special investigation team (SIT) failed to identify and investigate a student, who wasn’t solely visible in surveillance footage but was also the first to report the crime.

“We were ne’er glad with the theory of the Gurugram police, why did the Haryana police ignore the CCTV footage? This was either deliberate or it had been done to divert attention from the school management,” he alleged.

Thakur’s lawyer Sushil Tekriwal aforesaid the arrest of a 42-year-old bus conductor hours when the crime indicated bungling of the probe. “We have been demand from Day one that the police bungled up the case.”

The police denied all allegations of a lapse in the probe and aforesaid any missing link in the case was probably because the investigation was abruptly transferred to the CBI. “The case was transferred otherwise our investigation might have gone in this direction as well,” aforesaid Haryana director general of police, BS Sandhu.

Ashok Bakshi, deputy commissioner of police (South Gurugram) who headed the SIT, aforementioned that they had received no official communication from the CBI. “The investigation was conducted by us and handed over to the agency and they are now acting on it,” he said.

Pradyumn, a student of class 2, was found dead in the school rest room along with his throat slit by a sharp-edged weapon on the morning of September eight. the same day, Gurugram police arrested bus conductor Ashok Kumar but failed to satisfy the victim’s family or establish a motive, resulting in the probe being given to the CBI.

The CBI claimed its investigators were still probing charges of destruction of evidence against the school management. However activists based in Gurugram aforesaid the scale of the alleged botch-up raised queries.

“Mistakes do happen but such a serious blunder by the police needs some answering. If Ashok Kumar has been deliberately framed, then it’s a monstrous crime,” aforesaid SK Sharma, an activist whose son also studies at Ryan International school.

Some officers of Gurugram police admitted that the police might have made an error due to public pressure. “The police have lesser resources, less time and lots of pressure to deliver results which may cause such situation,” aforesaid a Gurugram police official dealing with the case.

Legal specialists indicated that the police’s eagerness to close the case as well as public and media glare forced the SIT to form hasty conclusions.

“What was the necessity to commit that the chargesheet will be filed within a week? From day one, the police fixed responsibility on a single one who was also the most vulnerable,” aforesaid Gurugram-based lawyer Rajiv Kaushik.

Another weak connection of the investigation was the motive for the murder, added the experts.

“It is very important to determine the motive in a monstrous crime like this and this was always doubtful. None had the answer why Ashok can kill a boy in a toilet, inside the school when he had no such history,” aforesaid a public prosecutor, who didn’t want to be named as he’s not authorised to talk to the media.

Family members of Ashok Kumar questioned why the police had made the conductor confess ahead of a camera. “They beat him so badly that there was no resolution for him but accepting the crime,” alleged Ami Chand, Kumar’s father.

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