The Haryana government on Friday ordered a CBI probe into the gruesome murder of a seven-year-old boy in Ryan International school in Gurgaon, one of the key demands of the victim’s family. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar made the announcement after meeting the family members of class 2 student Pradyuman Thakur, who was found dead with his throat slit in the school washroom last week, triggering a massive outrage across the country.
“This incident (the murder of Pradyuman) was unfortunate… Today I came here to meet the family. There was a demand from the family members and several others for handing over the case to the CBI for investigation,” he told the media. “The Haryana Police has been properly conducting a probe in this case. Despite that and in view of the demand, this case is being handed over to the CBI for a probe. I appeal to the CBI to investigate the case as expeditiously as possible,” Khattar said.
Even as the investigation by the state police was on, the Khattar-led BJP government decided to hand over the case to the CBI for a parallel enquiry. Here is a list of the unsolved puzzles and different versions surrounding the gruesome murder of the seven-year-old pupil.
*In a murder that has sparked widespread outrage, the student was allegedly killed by the school’s bus conductor, Ashok, who slit the boy’s throat with a kitchen knife after attempting to sexually assault him. According to police, the accused has confessed to his involvement in the crime, adding that the attempted sexual assault and murder happened within a span of 15 minutes after the school’s morning assembly. As per the police version, the accused slit Pradyuman’s throat when the boy fought back the conductor’s sexual advances and walked out after washing his hands.
However, the doctor who conducted the autopsy into the murder of the boy ruled out the sexual assault theory. According to a Hindustan Times report, Dr Deepak Mathur said the boy was not sodomised and no semen marks were found on his school uniform. But, the doctor said a forensic report might be able to answer if other forms of sexual assault were made before the murder.
*The footage from the security camera outside the bathroom reveals the plight of the seven-year-old as he was seen crawling out of the bathroom before collapsing next to a wall. It also shows Ashok entering the bathroom and exiting it before the boy crawled out holding his neck, according to NDTV. In an another cellphone video shot after the crime came to light, the school’s junior section in-charge Anju Dudeja was seen saying she and acting principal Neerja Batra asked the conductor to pick up an injured Pradyuman. It was the bus conductor who carried Pradyuman to the car that was used to rush the child to the hospital. Gardener Harpal, who was detained in connection with the case, said the accused’s clothes didn’t have any blood stains on them when he arrived at the scene.
As per some critics, Ashok got blood stains on his shirt while carrying the boy and that he was being made a scapegoat to protect the real perpetrators. However, the boy’s family said that the crime took place within 10 minutes of Pradyuman entering the school and asked if Dudeja, Neerja Batra, Harpal Singh and others were present at the spot, how is it possible that they did not notice any blood stains on Kumar’s body and clothes before he was asked to pick up an injured Pradyuman?” Pradeep Kumar, the victim’s uncle, was quoted as saying by India Today. Saurabh Raghav, the driver of the bus in which Kumar was a conductor, has also claimed the accused’s innocence and said that he was being framed
*After questioning, Harpal alleged he was slapped, beaten with sticks and his head dunked in water by police to force a confession out of him after the murder of the Class 2 student, according to a report in the Times of India. Earlier, bus driver Saurav Raghav alleged the cops put “mental pressure” on him to force him to admit he was an accomplice in the crime. The family of the 42-year-old Ashok alleged he confessed under pressure since he was tortured. On the other hand, police said they have strong evidence to prove Kumar is the killer.