Updated: November 25, 2017 11:18:25 am
In the 48 hours after the murder of seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur, bus conductor Ashok Kumar — initially
arrested for the crime — claimed he was tied up, slapped, beaten, brutally tortured, and threatened by Gurgaon Police personnel.
Responding to the allegations, Sandeep Khirwar, Commissioner of Police, said, “We will take appropriate action in the matter at the appropriate juncture.”
Recounting the events that transpired on September 8, when Thakur was killed inside a ground floor bathroom of Ryan International School, Bhondsi, Kumar claimed: “I left home at 5.30 am for duty, and reached the school at 6.10 am. Then, I did a round on the bus… I only found out about the murder after the gardener called me, claiming that one of the teachers had asked for me.”
Kumar said he rushed to the bathroom, where the murder took place. “The boy was lying in the bathroom’s corridor. Teachers told me he had injured his head and had to be carried to the car, so he could be transported to the hospital,” he claimed.
It was after he put the boy in the car, Kumar alleged, that the police personnel who had reached the spot took him into custody. “Police came after 30 minutes and they all went into the principal’s office. Later, they called me in. One of the officers took me into the principal’s bathroom, where he asked me why I killed the boy,” Kumar alleged.
When he denied having harmed the boy, Kumar said he was allegedly punched in the stomach and whisked off to the police station.
“They took me to the Sohna police station, tied up my hands and legs and started beating me up. They also administered electric shocks and told me that they would beat me up even more if I did not confess. So I did,” Kumar alleged.
When he moaned with pain in the evening, he claimed he was given injections that would “numb the pain”. “The men who beat me kept changing. Sometimes they were in uniform, sometimes in plainclothes. They did not even give me food to eat,” he alleged.
After begging for food for two days, he claimed a police officer kicked him in the stomach before fulfilling the request. Kumar described prison as a relief after his time in police custody. “People in jail believed I was innocent, and the policemen also did not trouble me,” he said on Thursday, coughing vigorously as he nursed a fever and “severe chest pain”.
His family claimed Kumar was unwell when he walked out of the gates of Bhondsi Jail on Wednesday evening, and had to be sedated at night to be able to get some rest.
“He has been suffering from fever and chest pain. We are trying to make him eat properly. He is not able to talk for long; he starts coughing and gets breathless very quickly,” his uncle, Om Prakash Chopra, claimed.
As his condition failed to improve on Thursday, however, a “private doctor from the village” was summoned, who prescribed some medication for him, the family said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines