Have directed CBI probe into Ryan student murder, says Haryana chief minister
The CBI says it zeroed in on the accused teenager after inspecting CCTV footage, call records, questioning of staff and students and the 'suspicious' behaviour of the accused during investigations. Photograph: (PTI)
The Haryana government on Friday took over the management of Ryan International School for three months after a seven-year-old student, Pradyuman, was found dead in the school premises with his throat slit.
Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar, who made the announcement after he met the child's parents, said the deputy commissioner would look after the school's functioning. He added that he had directed the CBI to probe the alleged murder, which took place near the school toilet.
"The state government will take over the school management for three months... Have directed for a CBI probe and for three months our Deputy Commissioner will look after the school's functioning," ML Khattar said.
Asked to comment on the development, the victim's father Barun Thakur said he was glad the case has been shown the sensitivity it deserved. He had approached the Supreme Court seeking a CBI probe, which prompted the top court to seek responses from the Centre and Haryana.
The top officials of the school have already been arrested after a report glaring lapses were found in the security infrastructure of the school including non-functional CCTV cameras, non-verification of staff and lack of separate toilets for staff like drivers and conductors.
The founders of school founders and trustees, Augustine Pinto, his wife Grace and his son Ryan are seeking anticipatory bail in the case.
The Bombay High Court had rejected their bail plea yesterday and asked them to submit their passports to the police.
The school's principal was suspended on September 9 amid protests by agitated parents.
Two officials of Haryana Police have also questioned the management of Ryan International School's Kandivali branch in Mumbai over the murder.
A report by a Special Investigation Tribunal had stated that the CCTV cameras of the school were not working properly and were not installed everywhere. The three-member team highlighted that the administration did not get their employees identification verified.The report by the investigative team also revealed that the school establishment had broken boundary walls.The report further said that there were no separate toilets for conductors and drivers and the wall behind the school remained unfinished which easily allowed anyone to enter the school premises without permission.
The Directorate of School Education and the Haryana government have constituted a committee to frame guidelines for safety of students and teachers at schools.
The accused, bus conductor Ashok Kumar, is already in police custody. He had earlier confessed that he murdered the child after attempting to sexually assault him. His wife claims he has been forced to make the confession. CCTV footage has revealed that the accused was already present in the bathroom when Pradyuman went in.
The doctor who performed the post-mortem had confirmed that Pradyuman had been murdered but ruled out sexual assault.
The police have claimed that evidence from the scene of the crime had been tampered with and said they would bring the guilty to book.