Wednesday, Aug 17, 2022

Ryan International School Murder Mystery: Several Unsolved Questions Before Investigating Team

The SIT, which told a Sohna court that evidence were tampered with in the case, suspects the involvement of a third person.

The killing of seven-year-old Pradyuman inside his school premises has left several unsolved questions before his parents and the special investigation team (SIT) of Gurgaon Police probing the gruesome murder case which has sparked countrywide outrage.

Also, the report of a fact-finding committee, constituted by the Gurgaon district administration, has detected several lapses in the school, including no police verification of bus drivers, conductors, and other staff, and broken boundary wall has broadened the spectrum of the investigation.

The SIT, which told a Sohna court that evidence were tampered with in the case, suspects the involvement of a third person, while the child's father flagged concerns over the timings of the events on the fateful morning of September 8.

The SIT suspects the involvement of a third person, who may have escaped from one of the windows of the toilet which has broken window and is located on the ground floor, SIT sources told PTI.

According to Pradyuman's father Varun Thakur, he had dropped his son and daughter at the Ryan International School at 7:55 am. Thakur claimed he received a call from the school management at 8.10 am informing him about his son being found bleeding inside the washroom.

Saurabh Raghav, a driver of the school bus in which accused Ashok Kumar worked as a conductor, entered the school at the same time where Kumar was helping to de-board the students and helped him to park the bus outside at the parking lot, which often takes five minutes.

The crime took place within 10 minutes, between 8 am and 8.10 am. It would take Pradyuman at least 2-3 minutes to reach the main building straight away covering around 400 meters from the gate, while Kumar would spend at least 5-7 minutes on the bus before heading there, the source said.

Such circumstances, the source added, indicate that the boy entered the toilet first and the possibility of Kumar already being there was less.

Since Pradyuman's school bag was found inside the toilet, it indicates that he went there straight from the gate and was attacked by someone who used those windows as escape route, the source said.

Thakur has knocked the door of the Supreme Court seeking CBI investigation into the matter.

Thakur said he feels there is "something fishy" and "missing points" in the police theory.

The police have already arrested Kumar and said he was inside the toilet when Pradyuman entered and grabbed him with the intention of sodomy and when he failed, he slit the child's throat.

Amid the ongoing probe, bus driver Raghav, however, has claimed that the police and the school management forced him to give a wrong statement against the innocent conductor that the knife, which was allegedly used in the crime, was part of tool kit and kept in the bus.

Raghav alleged he was beaten up and tortured in police custody to give the statement.

The Supreme Court today issued a notice to the Centre, the CBI and the Haryana government on a plea by Thakur.

The fact-finding three-member sub-inquiry committee, which was constituted by Gurgaon district administration, today submitted its report to Vinay Pratap Singh, District Commissioner of Gurgaon.

"The committee has detected five lapses in the school such as a broken window, ill-equipped fire extinguishers, common toilets, no police verification of conductors and drivers and other ground staff, broken boundary wall and low-quality CCTV without having wide-angle facilities, irregularities in students' toilets without a guard," Singh told PTI.

The deputy commissioner said he has recommended to the directorate of Haryana education department to take action against the school.

The education department has three options to take over the management of the school, cancellation of license or impose fine of Rs 25,000 for each lapse.

Official sources said the education department is planning to takeover of management to give a strong message to other schools.