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New twist in Ryan murder: SIT hunts for another killer

| | Gurugram
New twist in Ryan murder: SIT hunts for another killer

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Gurugram Police investigating the gruesome murder and failed sodomy bid on Pradyuman Thakur — Class II student of Ryan International School — suspects the involvement of another person who may have escaped from one of the broken windows of the school toilet.

The SIT told the Sohna court on Tuesday that evidences were tampered with in the case. Following which, the Gurugram Police is likely to interrogate the gardener of the school whose movements have been found to be mysterious on the fateful day as he could be an accomplice in the crime.

A doctor, who conducted the post-mortem, said the boy was not sexually assaulted but died of excessive bleeding. The killing of seven-year-old Pradyuman on his school premises has left several unsolved questions before his parents and the SIT.

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

Pradyuman’s father Varun Thakur flagged concerns over the timings of the events on the fateful morning of September 8. According to Thakur, he had dropped his son and daughter at the Ryan International School at 7:55 am and he claimed to have 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 worked as conductor, entered the school at the same time when Ashok 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 Ashok would spend at least 5-7 minutes in the bus before heading there, the source said.

Such circumstances, the source said, indicate that the boy entered the toilet first and the possibility of Ashok 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 approached the Supreme Court seeking a CBI investigation into the matter. Thakur said he feels there is “something fishy” and “missing points” in police theory.

Police have already arrested Ashok and said he was inside the toilet when Pradyuman entered and grabbed him with the intention to sodomise him and when he failed to do so he slit the child’s throat.

Amid the ongoing probe, bus driver Raghav, however, has claimed that police and the school management forced him to give a wrong statement against the 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 on Tuesday issued a notice to the Centre, the CBI and the Haryana Government on a plea by Thakur.

The fact-finding three member sub-enquiry committee, which was constituted by Gurugram district administration, on Tuesday submitted its report to Vinay Pratap Singh, District Commissioner of Gurugram.

“The committee has detected five lapses in the school such as 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 guard,” Singh told PTI.

The Deputy Commissioner said he has recommended to the directorate of Hayana Education Department to take action against the school.

The Education Department has three options to take over the management of school, cancellation of licence or impose fine of Rs 25,000 for each lapse. Official sources said the Education Department is planning to takeover of management to give strong message to other schools.

Ryan murder sequence was recreated on Tuesday on the school premises. Commissioner of Police Gurugram Sandeep Khirwar, along with the officers of the SIT and forensic experts, scanned the crime spot.  Sources said police chief and his team of investigators wanted to recreate the sequence of events that led to the murder of the child inside the washroom of Ryan International School. Police tooth combed the crime spot to lift chance prints, blood stains and other evidence to nail the accused Ashok Kumar, the conductor of the school bus. 



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