The Central Bureau of Investigation, which is probing the murder of seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur, has concluded that the Gurugram police framed the school bus conductor Ashok Kumar by planting the murder weapon, a knife, on him.
In the case built by the local police, Kumar had taken the knife from the toolkit of the school bus and carried it with him to the washroom of the Ryan International School in Gurugram, where Thakur was murdered in September. But the CBI probe has found that the knife belonged to a Class XI student who is now accused of murdering the Class II student in order to postpone an upcoming examination and a parent-teacher meeting.
"The knife was bought by the juvenile from a local shop and he brought it with him inside the school. This is the only knife which was recovered and so the claim of Gurgaon police that Ashok Kumar brought it inside the school and used it to kill the boy has no basis whatsoever," a CBI official told The Times of India.
The CBI official told TOI that the 16-year-old accused had confessed before his father, an independent witness and the welfare officer of the CBI. "He has disclosed that he slit the throat within seconds and left the toilet. There was no resistance from Pradhyumn whatsoever as he didn't get time to react," the official said.
Citing CBI sources, TOI reported that the knife was the only "murder weapon" in the case, and it was recovered from the commode of the washroom. It is important to note that the local police never revealed where the knife was found.
Kumar wants action against the cops who allegedly "tortured and drugged" him to force him to confess to Thakur's murder.
"Now it is almost clear that my son Ashok was framed and made a scapegoat. We have decided to file a case against Gurgaon Police SIT officers who framed and used torture and even drugged him to confess before the media that he had committed the crime," Ashok's father Amirchand was quoted as saying by NDTV.
Thakur was found lying in a pool of blood on September 8 in one of the school's bathrooms, with his throat slit. The horrific murder, which shook the nation, raised several questions about security in posh private schools.
News agencies reported that a four-member CBI team on Thursday visited the school with the accused student to reconstruct the sequence of events.
The officials took the accused to the Sohna Market where he is said to have purchased the knife used in the murder, IANS reported.
The accused student, who is the son of an advocate, informed his interrogators in his six hours questioning that minutes after killing Pradhuman, he had informed a gardener and a teacher, saying "a boy was lying injured in the toilet of the school premises."
Opposition parties have attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party government and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar over the police probe, demanding action against the police officials who allegedly framed the school bus conductor.
Gurugram Police Commissioner Sandeep Khairwar said, "The case was taken over by the CBI before we concluded our investigation and came on final decision. We had arrested Ashok on the basis factual evidence."
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