Bus conductor granted bail in Ryan murder case

A Haryana court on Tuesday granted bail to bus conductor Ashok Kumar, 42, arrested by Haryana Police for allegedly killing Class II student Pradhuman Thakur of Ryan International School in Bhondsi.

Seven-year-old Pradhuman’s body was on September 8 morning found in the washroom of school with throat slit. Accused Kumar was arrested the same day.

Two school employees — school bus driver Saurav Raghav and gardner of the school Harpal — and the family (father Amichand) of arrested kumar had alleged that he was being made a scapegoat in the child’s murder since he is poor.

Amichamd said his son was drugged and brutally tortured by the police to own up the crime.

Court of Additional District and Session Judge Rajni Yadav court granted him bail on Rs 50,000 bail bond.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is now investigating the case and a Class XI student of the same school was on November 8 arrested by the investigative agency for the murder.

As per the CBI findings, the senior student killed his junior just to postpone a parent-teacher meeting and unit test on the fateful day as the “killer is weak in studies”.

The Haryana Police had claimed that the child was murdered by the bus conductor allegedly after he failed to sodomise the boy.

The police claim was being questioned right from the very beginning. Although the CBI has not granted clean chit to the bus conductor, it has also not found any clinching evidence against him.

Pradhuman’s body was found in the toilet of the school within an hour after his father Barun Chandra Thakur dropped him and his sister in the school. Victim’s sister, who was elder to him, was a Class V student of the school.

Police caned people protesting outside the school against management on September 10, in which some journalists and photographers covering the protest were also injured.

On the demand of people and parents of deceased Pradhuman, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar visited the house of victim on September 15 to offer his condolences and announced a CBI probe into the case.

Pradhuman’s father Thakur claimed that Haryana cabinet minister Rao Narbir Singh visited his house on September 14 and told family not to press for CBI inquiry into the case.

There were differences among Haryana ministers over probe by two agencies. Rao Narbir Singh said the police probe was more acceptable, while Gurugram MP and central minister Rao Inderjit Singh, Haryana cabinet minister Anil Vij and Gurugra MLA Umesh Aggarwal backed a CBI investigation.

However, as the CBI started its probe from September 22, the inestigation took a complete U-turn following the arrest of Class XI student on November 8.

Mohit Verma, lawyer for Ashok Kumar, moved the court on November 16 for bail to the accused.

The CBI was asked to submit the status report in the court after arguments by all parties on November 20, and the judge had kept the decision reserved for Tuesday.

“There was no proof against Kumar and court granted bail under Article 21 that ensures right to life and liberty to every citizen. There was major conflict between theories of the CBI and the Haryana Police and was granted bail on the ground of benefit of doubt,” said Verma.

“Court’s decision proved that police probe was shielding the real culprit and Kumar was implicated in the crime,” said the lawyer.

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