Pradyumn Thakur, a Class 2 student of Ryan International School in Bhondsi, Gurugram, was found dead with his throat slit in the school washroom on 8 September. A bus conductor confessed to the killing, but many questions still remain unanswered and the school administration has faced serious flak for the security lapse.
The victim’s parents have demanded a CBI probe into the murder and their petition was heard by the Supreme Court on 12 September.
Follow The Quint for more updates on the Ryan School murder case.
- The entire staff of Ryan School’s Bhondsi branch is being quizzed by the Gurugram Police
- Ryan School’s lawyer has urged the SC to transfer case to Delhi’s Saket Court
- Bombay High Court on 12 September granted interim relief to Augustine Pinto, Grace Pinto, and Ryan Pinto from getting arrested
- Doctor who conducted post-mortem ruled out sexual assault on Pradyumn
- SC issues notice to Haryana government, the CBI, the Centre, and the HRD Ministry on a plea filed by Pradyumn’s parents
- The respondents have been asked to file a report within three weeks
- Ashok Kumar, a bus conductor with the school, was arrested
- Victim Pradyumn Thakur, a Class 2 student, was murdered on 8 September
Two School Officials Held, SHO Suspended
Two officials of Ryan International School, Gurugram, were arrested late on 10 September. FIR number 250 under Sections 302 (murder), arms act and Section 75 of Juvenile Justice Act was registered against the school’s regional head, Francis Thomas and HR head, Jeyus Thomas. The two will be reportedly produced in court on Monday. The Gurugram DCP clarified that the “two weren’t only arrested for negligence” and there is only a single FIR filed in the case against the two officials and the conductor.
The SHO of the Sadar Police Station has been suspended after police personnel lathi-charged parents and mediapersons during protests on Sunday.
Committee Finds Security Lapses
With murkier details emerging in the murder case of seven-year-old Pradyumn Thakur, who was found with his throat slit in a washroom of Ryan International School in Gurugram’s Bhondsi, a three-member fact finding committee found major security lapses on part of its management.
The committee, headed by the District Education Officer, has found that there were no separate toilets and washrooms for the 40 bus drivers and conductors of the school.
Sharma said that one could easily enter into or get out of the school premises by climbing the boundary walls. “The windows and grills of the students’ toilet, in which the Class 2 student Pradyumn was killed, was found broken," he said.
The Education minister said that the top management and proprietors of school would also come under the ambit of FIR as their negligence appeared clearly in the brutal murder.
He said that the guilty would be brought to justice. “If parents of the child insist on a CBI probe, the government will accept it,” he said.
Click here to read more about the fallout of the murder of the student.
Haryana CM Condemns Attack on Parents, Media
A protest staged by hundreds of parents outside the Ryan International School on Sunday, 10 September, turned violent, with over 50 protesters and nine journalists being injured after police resorted to lathicharge.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar condemned the incident and described it as unfortunate.
Khattar said the government will bear the medical expenses of the journalists who were injured in the police action.
Haryana Police Team to Question Ryan CEO in Mumbai
Haryana Police on Monday sent a team to Mumbai to question Ryan International Schools Group’s CEO Ryan Pinto, reported Times of India.
SC to Hear Pradyumn's Case Today
The Supreme Court has agreed to grant an urgent hearing on a PIL filed by Pradyumn Thakur’s father seeking a CBI probe into the murder of his 7-year-old son and the lack of safety measures in private school.
Ryan School's Acting Principal Admitted to Hospital
Neerja Batra, the acting principal of Gurugram's Ryan International School, has been taken to a hospital after she complained of health issues during questioning.
Batra was detained after the student's death came to light.
“We had been interrogating the acting principal since Saturday. She is in hospital now and the probe is underway," DCP of south Gurugram told ANI.
Ryan CEO Files For Anticipatory Bail
Ryan International School CEO Ryan Pinto and his parents filed for anticipatory bail in the Bombay High Court, as a team of Haryana Police arrived in Mumbai to question him. The hearing is likely to take place on Tuesday.
Pradhan, on Monday morning, mentioned the applications before Justice Ajey Gadkari, who posted them for hearing on Tuesday.
The Pintos, in their pleas, said while the death of the boy was unfortunate, the management cannot be held culpable and that they themselves were victims of the unfortunate circumstances.
Father Seeks Security For Family
Pradyumn’s father Varun Thakur has sought assurance from the Supreme Court for his family’s safety and security, reported ANI.
He also requested Harayana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to meet the grieving family.
Khattar, in return, has ensured an impartial and a fast probe into the case.
The Quint reports From Ground Zero
According to sources, Pradyumn’s father has left for the Supreme Court for hearing in the case.
Petition Filed by Victim's Parents in the SC
A petition was filed in the SC by Pradyumn’s parents seeking a CBI probe into the student's death. The couple also asked the court to look into the safety measures being taken by schools across the country.
Parents File Complaint Against Ryan School's Vasant Kunj Branch
Parents of the vicitm have filed a complaint against Ryan International School’s Vasant Kunj branch citing several security lapses, reported ANI.
Parents, in their complaint, mentioned that several CCTV cameras were dysfunctional, and a water tank was left unlocked among other reasons.
The complaint about uncovered water tanks comes almost two years after the Vasant Kunj branch of the 130+ school strong Ryan International group grabbed headlines in January 2016, when a six-year-old boy, Devansh, was found dead in a water tank on the school premises.
Many have drawn parallels between this case and Pradyumn’s death, as this is the second instance where a student has been found dead inside the school premises of a Ryan school in two years alone.
"Missing Links Forced Us To Appeal For a CBI Probe"
Tarun Thakur, the victim’s uncle, told The Quint that missing links forced the family to appeal for a CBI probe.
He added that the school has been evasive in its response regarding who spotted the child first and who took him to the hospital.
The school called the family and initially told them that he has fallen off the bathroom floor and was being taken to the hospital. Only on reaching the hospital did the family get to know that the child's throat was slit.
He also rubbished rumors that the death was due to Blue Whale challenge.
“We don’t have a laptop in the house and we use internet only through our phones. There is no way he was playing such games. These are rumours that are trying to divert attention from the case,” said Tarun.
SC Issues Notice to Haryana Govt, Centre
The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Haryana government, the HRD ministry and the Centre on a plea seeking a CBI probe into Pradyumn’s death. It has asked the respondents to look into the safety of children in schools across the country and has sought a report on the matter within three weeks.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also sought a response from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on the plea, which has sought framing of guidelines to fix responsibility of school managements in case of such incidents and also regarding the safety and security of children.
During the brief hearing, the bench observed that “this petition is not restricted only to the school concerned as it has a country-wide ramification”.
Pradyumn’s father told media that he has “complete faith” in the SC and that he has received a positive response from the Haryana government.
Police to Quiz Driver, Gardener
Police will question the school’s driver, gardener and other individuals to probe the possibility of accomplices in the murder case, said ANI.
School Tampered With Evidence: Report
CNN-News18 reported that Gurugram police officials told the Supreme Court that Ryan school officials tried to tamper with the evidence. The blood stains were cleared by the school, it said.
The SIT said in the court that and attempt was made to “wash away the blood stains from the spot where the child was found murdered. The blood on his water bottle and bag was also found rubbed.”
School Officials Sent on Two-Day Police Remand
Ryan International Group's northern zone head Francis Thomas and HR head, Jeyus Thomas, have been sent on two-day police remand. The two were produced in the Sohna court after they were arrested on Sunday night.
HRD Ministry Will Respond to SC, Says Javadekar
Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar condemned the killing of a five-year-old Ryan International School student on 8 September. The minister stressed on “acting together” to come up with solutions.
Heavy Security Cover Outside Ryan Corporate Office
Latest visuals from the corporate office of Ryan International Group of Institutions show heavy security cover outside the building. Till now, only the Mumbai police has arrived at the site, and the Gurugram police is expected to arrive soon.
The heavy security cover, comprising around 30 personnel, is to maintain the law and order situation.
The Gurugram police left for Mumbai earlier to question Ryan Pinto, the CEO of Ryan International School. Pinto and his parents have filed for anticipatory bail in the Bombay High Court. The hearing is likely to take place on Tuesday.
'Verification of Staff by Police is a Must in Schools': Manish Sisodia
Addressing a press conference, deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia emphasised on the need for the city’s schools to have police verification of all the staff.
He also said that all the information pertaining to the school staff needs to be updated on a timely basis.
'Went to Mumbai to Understand Organisational Structure of School'
Gurugram police commissioner Sandeer Khirwal has said that the Haryana police "went for investigation in Mumbai to understand the organisational structure of the school, before going to the next step of the probe.
School Principal Questioned, Likely to be Arrested: Police
The acting principal of Gurugram’s Ryan International School and other staff members were questioned by the police on Monday. More arrests are likely to be made soon.
Candle Light Protests in Gurugram, Victim's Father Appeals For Peace
Candle light protests took place in Gurugram on Monday, three days after 7-year-old Pradyumn Thakur's murder at Ryan International School.
Meanwhile, the victim's father urged parents to protest in a peaceful manner.
SIT Suspects a Third Person Involved
The SIT, which told a Sohna court that evidence were tampered with in the case, suspects involvement of a third person, while the child's father flagged concerns over the timings of the events on the fateful morning of 8 September.
The SIT suspects involvement of a third person, who may have escaped from one of the windows of the toilet which has a broken window and is located on the ground floor, SIT sources said.
Saurabh Raghav, a driver of the school bus in which accused Kumar worked as conductor said Kumar helped him park the bus that morning, which often takes five minutes.
The crime took place within 10 minutes, between 8 am and 8:10 am, when Pradyumn’s father got a call to come back. It would take Pradyumn at least 2-3 minutes to reach the main building straight away, covering around 400 meters from the gate, while Kumar would spend at least 5-7 minutes in the bus before heading there, the source said.
Such circumstances, the source added, indicate that the boy entered the toilet first and the possibility of Kumar already being there was less.
Since Pradyumn's school bag was found inside the toilet, it indicates that he went there straight from the gate and was attacked by someone who used those windows as an escape route, the source said.
Amid the ongoing probe, bus driver Raghav, however, has claimed that the police and the school management forced him to give a wrong statement against the innocent conductor that the knife, which was allegedly used in the crime, was part of tool kit and kept in the bus.
Raghav alleged he was beaten up and tortured in police custody to give the statement.
Bombay HC Gives Interim Relief to the Pintos
Bombay High Court gives interim relief to Augustine Pinto and Grace Pinto from getting arrested today. The hearing on anticipatory bail will be held tomorrow. Ryan Pinto too has been granted interim relief, according to Republic TV.
Judicial Custody of Ashok Kumar Extended
The judicial custody of the main accused in the Ryan International murder case, Ashok Kumar, has been extended till 18 September. He will be produced in the Gurugram special court on 18 September.
Haryana Police Team Quizzes School Management
Two officials of the Haryana Police team questioned the Kandivali branch’s management over Pradyumn’s death.
Bus Conductor Ashok Killed Pradyuman: ACP Sohna Road
“It’s clear that only Ashok Kumar (bus conductor) is involved in the murder of the 7-year-old,” Birem Singh, ACP Sohna Road, said on 12 September.
He further added that no other person is involved. “An act of negligence by school is separate and two people are being questioned for the same,” he said. “In questioning, two children disclosed he (Ashok Kumar) was present in the toilet before the incident,” he added.
Doctor Rules Out Sexual Assault
Deepak Mathur, one of the doctors who conducted the post-mortem on Pradyuman, has ruled out sexual assault on 13 September.
He added that the doctors found two knife marks on Pradyuman's neck.
Forensic Team Reaches School in Gurugram
Haryana Police Commissioner, along with police personnel, and forensic team reached Ryan International School for investigation on 12 September.
SC to Hear PIL Over Safety of School Children
The Supreme Court on 12 September agreed to hear a plea of two women lawyers seeking framing of “non- negotiable” child safety conditions and implementation of existing guidelines to protect school-going children from offences like sexual abuse and murder across the country. The apex court will hear the plea on 15 September.
The plea, which also sought cancellation of licences and forfeiture of state grants of erring schools, will be heard by the court along with the petition filed on 12 September by the father of seven-year-old Pradyuman, who was allegedly killed by a bus conductor at Gurgaon's Ryan International School.
He had sought a CBI probe into the killing of his son and framing of guidelines to ensure safety of children.
Accused's DNA Samples Sent to Karnal Lab
Murder accused Ashok Kumar’s DNA samples have been sent to a lab in Karnal, Haryana, for testing, reported ANI.
Police Probe Makes the Case Murkier
There are several unanswered questions about the murder of 7-year-old Pradyumn Thakur. Gurugram Police cracked the case the same day and arrested the conductor of the school bus, Ashok Kumar. And interestingly, within hours of the arrest, the conductor was paraded before the media by the police, where he confessed to his crime. Generally, Gurugram Police prefers to keep even a thief away from the media.
The Quint spoke to several senior Gurugram Police officials to find out details of the probe. The police stood by their investigation and claimed that it was the conductor who murdered Pradyumn.
Click here to read the complete report.
Arrested School Official Urges SC to Move Case
Ryan International School Group’s northern zone head Francis Thomas on 13 September requested the Supreme Court to transfer Pradyumn’s murder case out of the local court at Sohna, Haryana. Francis and HR head, Jeyus Thomas, are currently under police remand
The SC will hear the matter on Monday.
Forensic Team Reaches Gurugram to Collect Samples
A team from the Forensic Science Laboratory has reached the premises of Ryan International School in Gurugram to collect samples.
Pintos' Bail Plea Hearing at 3 PM Today
The transit anticipatory bail applications of Ryan School Group’s CEO Ryan Pinto and his parents – AF Pinto and Grace Pinto – will be heard in Bombay High Court at 3 pm today.
The court will also hear the intervention application of complainant at the same time.
Student Witnesses Given Police Cover
A Hindustan Times report said that two student witnesses in the case have been provided police protection after their statements were recorded at a Sohna court on 12 September.
It said that the students’ parents agreed to involve their children in the trial after assurances from the Gurugram police.
Ryan Officials Produced in Sohna Court
Ryan International Group's northern zone head Francis Thomas and HR head Jeyus Thomas were being produced in Sohna court on 13 September.
Arrested Ryan Officials to Remain In Custody
Ryan International Group's northern zone head Francis Thomas has been sent to police remand till 16 September, while the HR head, Jeyus Thomas, was sent to judicial custody till 18 September.
The two officials of the school group were arrested on 10 September in connection wih Pradyumn’s murder.