November 8, 2017
Meetu Jain| Edited by Dev Goswami
The CBI has said a Class XI student of Ryan International School is the prime suspect in seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur’s killing. Gurgaon Police had earlier arrested a bus conductor for the murder.
Ashok Kumar, the bus conductor, arrested by Gurgaon Police for the murder of Pradyuman Thakur at Ryan International School, Gurgaon, is “not in the picture” as far as the seven-year-old boy’s killing is concerned, sources in the Central Bureau of Investigation said today.
This development came soon after the CBI detained a Class XI student from the same school where Pradyuman studied and was found dead. The agency, while saying Ashok Kumar was “not in the picture” did not go so far as to give the conductor a complete clean chit.
Seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur was found with his throat slit on the morning of September 8. Later the same day, Gurgaon Police arrested Ashok, a bus conductor employed with the school, saying he killed Pradyuman after attempting to sexually assault the boy.
That story seems to be unraveling now with the CBI saying the Class XI student detained today is the prime suspect in Pradyuman’s killing. The student was held on the basis of CCTV footage and other scientific evidence, including call records, the CBI said.
Initial probe shows the Class XI student wanted school exams at a parent-teacher meeting at Ryan International School postponed, the CBI said. The murder was committed in order to get Ryan to declare a holiday, the CBI suggested.
The agency, however, added that it could not with certainty that Pradyuman was a “pre-planned target”. Sources added that a day before Pradyuman’s murder the detained minor is believed to have told other Ryan schoolchildren not to prepare for exams as there would be a holiday at school.
The student, incidentally, joined the Pradyuman murder probe as an eyewitness. However, sources said, the Class XI student’s role came under the radar after he changed his statements too many times.
The detained Class XI student will be produced before a competent court for further proceedings, the CBI said.
WHAT ABOUT THE CONDUCTOR?
Ashok Kumar was arrested on September 8 night, just hours after Pradyuman Thakur was found with his throat slit at a washroom inside Ryan International School, Gurgaon.
Claiming a major breakthrough, Gurgaon cops said Ashok Kumar had confessed to attempting to sexually abuse Pradyuman and then killing him when the boy resisted.
Incidentally, the CBI today rejected the sexual assault theory as well, saying its investigations had not revealed any sexual assault theory.
After Ashok Kumar’s arrest and reported confession, his family members claimed the bus conductor was being framed by police. The parents of Pradyuman Thakur too suggested there was a cover-up in their child’s murder, alleging that Ryan International School was hiding information related to the killing.
Under pressure from the parents, the Haryana government transferred the murder investigation to the CBI, which today turned the probe on its head with its allegations against the Class XI student.