A Class 11 student who allegedly wanted the parent-teacher meeting and exams to be postponed has been apprehended in connection with the killing of a seven-year-old boy in Gurugram’s Ryan International School.
In a sensational twist to the case, the high school student, who is about 16 years old, was apprehended late night on Tuesday by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Pradyuman, a Class 2 student of the school, was found dead with his throat slit by a sharp-edged weapon on the morning of September 8. The Gurugram Police had arrested bus conductor Ashok Kumar, against whom the CBI has not found any evidence so far.
Officials in the agency said the crime was committed in just three to four minutes. The murder weapon, a knife, was found in the commode of the toilet where the killing allegedly took place, he said. It was the same knife seized by the Gurugram Police.
According to the agency, the Class 11 student, believed to be weak in his studies, allegedly slit Pradyuman’s throat to get the school to declare a holiday in order to defer a scheduled parent-teacher meeting (PTM) and an examination.
Abhishek Dayal, CBI spokesperson, said the minor student was apprehended at 11.30 pm in accordance with the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act. “His parents were kept in the loop and all measures in accordance with the JJ Act were complied with. He remains our prime suspect.”
He said the agency analysed CCTV footage, showing the movement of people in and out of the toilet, on the basis of which it narrowed the list of suspects. The agency has not found any evidence of sexual assault, he said.
Based on CCTV footage and crime scene analysis, the agency examined all potential suspects and witnesses. The list included 125 teachers and students, officials said.
Ryan Pinto, owner of the Ryan International School chain, is yet to be questioned in the case. The mobile records of all the suspects were scrutinised and examined by the CBI’s special crime team. Although the Class 11 student had planned a killing on 8 September, the “child in conflict with law” had not identified his target, Dayal said. It was a coincidence that Pradyuman reached the toilet and became a victim of senior student’s ghastly plan, officials added.
The father of the high school student told a television channel that his son was innocent and they had been cooperating with the police from day one. “My son didn’t do anything. He informed the gardener and teachers after finding Pradyuman’s body. He stayed in the school the entire day, and appeared for the exam. There was not even a single spot of blood on my son’s clothes,” the father said, his face pixellated to avoid identification.
The CBI’s findings will be a major embarrassment for the Gurugram Police, which had blamed Ashok Kumar and alleged that he was waiting in the toilet with a knife. The police had formed 14 SIT teams.
Kumar, a resident of Ghamdoj village in Sohna, was hired by a school bus contractor around seven months before the killing. Villagers in Ghamdoj had said Kumar had been framed and he had no previous history of being involved in any crime.National