Ryan Murder Case: Pinto Family’s Arrest Stayed by High Court
Students take out a candle march to pay tributes and demand justice for seven-year-old Pradyumn Thakur.
Students take out a candle march to pay tributes and demand justice for seven-year-old Pradyumn Thakur.
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Ryan Murder Case: Pinto Family’s Arrest Stayed by High Court

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. The school administration has faced serious flak for the security lapse.

The CBI registered an FIR in Pradyumn’s murder on 22 September.

Follow live updates on The Quint.

Snapshotclose

  • Ryan International School’s Gurugram branch reopened again on 25 September
  • The school had first reopened on 18 September, but was shut till 22 September
  • The state government will manage the Gurugram school for the next three months
  • CBI registered an FIR on 22 September
  • Ashok Kumar, a bus conductor of the school, was arrested on 8 September after he confessed to the murder of Pradyumn Thakur
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(3) NEW UPDATES

Bail Granted

On Thursday, the Pinto family's arrest was stayed until further hearing on 7 October by Punjab and Haryana High Court, as ANI reported.

Gurugram DM Issues Directions to Ryan School Management

Gurugram DM directs principal and school management to implement certain directions within 15 days and send a compliance report to the District Education officer. The directions include include separate toilets for non-teaching staff, presence of female attendants at toilets of small children.

The other directives given are necessary police verification for all non-teaching staff, ramps and special toilets for children with special need, installation of sufficient number of CCTVs at appropriate places in school and female attendants in school buses.

Forming of school safety committee as per directions along with two representatives of parents have also been included in the directions from the Gurugram DM.

Crime Scene Recreated on Sunday

The CBI, on Sunday, brought murder accused Ashok Kumar, the conductor and Haripal, the gardener to the school to recreate the crime scene.

Sources told The Quint that it was done to verify the validity of claims made by Ashok Kumar, who has confessed to the crime.

State Govt Implements Measures for Security at Ryan

  • Counsellors will hold sessions separately for primary, secondary, higher secondary students starting Wednesday.
  • The broken boundary wall at the end of the school campus has been fixed.
  • Parents were shown that the CCTV cameras are in working condition and others will be fixed by the government.
  • Parents to be issued separate IDs.
  • Records of background check carried out for both non-teaching and teaching staff are available with Gurugram’s Deputy Commissioner.
  • Teachers have been asked to share their phone numbers with parents and were also directed to respond to queries of parents immediately.

The Quint Reports From Ryan Int'l School

Ryan International School’s Gurugram branch reopened on 25 September after 7-year-old Pradyumn Thakur was found murdered on the school premises on 8 September. The school had initially reopened on 18 September, but had to be shut down again till 22 September.

Some parents told The Quint they have confidence in the school administration ever since the Haryana government has taken over its functioning.

Stringent security measures have also been taken up. Neither the school buses nor any private vehicles were allowed to enter the school premises. The CBSE guidelines had mentioned that a school must have only one entry and exit point

Students, today, turned up in large numbers as compared to last time when only around 100 showed up.

Accused Sent to One Day Police Custody

On the request of CBI in an ongoing investigation of Pradyumn Thakur, the Competent Court has on 23 September remanded three accused, who were earlier arrested by Haryana Police, to one-day police custody.

Three-Member CBI Team Reaches Ryan International

A three member CBI team reached Ryan International School in Bhondsi, Gurugram, on 23 September to start investigating the murder of 7-year-old Pradyumn Thakur. A 12-member forensic team has reached the school for investigation.

The CBI registered an FIR in relation to the murder on 22 September.

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    Visuals from the school.
    Visuals from the school.(Photo: ANI)
  • 01
    Visuals from the school.
    Visuals from the school.(Photo: ANI)

Pradyumn’s father Barun Thakur said on 23 September that he had suspected there's a background to Ashok “coming out as culprit”. He added that the CBI probed the case from different angles.

CBI Files FIR in Pradyumn's Murder

CBI on Friday registered an FIR in relation to 7-year-old Pradyumn’s murder. CBI took over the investigation the case which was earlier registered under Sections 302 of Indian Penal Code, 25 of Arms Act, 12 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act & 75 of Juvenile Justice (JJ).

Further investigation is continuing.

Pradhyumn’s father Barun Thakur on Friday told a press conference here that he had appealed to the top leaders of the country to expedite the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the “sensitive matter”.

Thakur's lawyer alleged that the CBI inquiry had not yet started despite the Haryana government recommending it.

“If the formal inquiry by the CBI is not started by tomorrow, then Barun Thakur will move the Supreme Court on Monday,” he added.

CBI to Register Pradyumn Murder Case Today

The CBI on Friday received notification regarding the Pradyumn murder case, and will register a case on his murder.

Punjab, Haryana HC Refuses to Stay Arrests of the Pintos

Punjab and Haryana High Court has refused to stay the arrests of Ryan International Group CEO Ryan Pinto and his parents – Grace Pinto and Francis Pinto.

Pradyumn’s family lawyer told ANI that the next hearing in the case will be on 25 September.

The court said it’s a serious issue and it can’t take a decision without hearing all the sides.

Haryana Govt Writes to Centre

Haryana government on Tuesday wrote to Centre asking them to hand over case to CBI “as soon as possible”.

CBSE Asks Schools to Verify Staff

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) instructed all schools to verify their teachers and staff within the next two months.

It said that police verification is a must for all schools in the country.

Punjab, Haryana High Courts Decline Pintos' Anticipatory Bail

The Punjab and Haryana High Court declined hearing of the anticipatory bail application of Ryan Pinto, Grace Pinto and Francis Pinto as the judge hearing matter cited that he knew them personally.

The matter will be transferred to Chief Justice Haryana and Punjab High Court and a different bench will hear the matter now.

The family's anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the Bombay High Court earlier.

CBI Yet to Takeover

CBI is yet to receive notification from Haryana government for further investigation in the Ryan International School murder case. State Chief Minister ML Khattar had announced last week that the case would be handed over to the bureau.

Shocked. I don’t know why there has been delay in handing over case to CBI even after the CM announced it. It’s been 12 days since my son was murdered.
Varun Thakur

School to Remain Closed till Friday

Ryan International School in Gurugram’s Bhondsi to be closed till Friday, classes to resume on 25 September, said Gurugram DC.

He added that safety concerns to be addressed by then.

SC asks Lawyers Body not to Obstruct Ryan school Murder Case

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the members of the District Bar Association of Gurgaon not to obstruct in any manner the proceedings going on before a special judge there relating to the murder of a seven-year-old student in the Ryan International school.

The apex court was informed by the bar body that they have withdrawn their earlier resolution in which they had said that no lawyer will represent any of the accused in the case.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra observed that an accused has the right to be represented by an advocate and the bar was under an obligation not to obstruct any lawyer from appearing on behalf of an accused.

The bench was hearing a plea filed by Francis Thomas, the northern zone head of Ryan Group, seeking transfer of the student murder case from the local court at Sohna, alleging that the bar has restrained lawyers from representing the accused in the sensational case. Thomas was arrested in connection with the case.

Will Make Sure Evidence Is Not Destroyed: Gurugram DC

After the Ryan International School reopened for the first time on Monday post Pradyumn’s death, Deputy Commissioner of Gurugram Vinay Pratap Singh addressed media saying the document verification of all Ryan schools will begin soon.

He added that the entire area (crime scene) in the school premises has been sanitised so that no evidence gets destroyed.

Singh reiterated that there were lapses on part of the school administration which “have been identified and will be corrected”.

He added that a safety audit was also conducted and will be uploaded on the school site.

Safety guidelines had been issued on 15 September...All issues, whether it is regarding the safety and security or a student’s mental health, have been covered. By today evening, we will decide if the school will remain open tomorrow or not. 
Deputy Commissioner, Gurugram

A parent-teacher meeting has been scheduled for 23 September.

Accused Produced in POCSO Court

Pradyumn’s murder accused Ashok Kumar along with Ryan International Group’s northern zone head and the HR head were produced in a special POCSO court on Monday.

Ryan School Reopens Today

Ryan International School’s Bhondsi branch in Gurugram reopens today for the first time since Pradyumn Thakur’s murder on 8 September.

Pradyumn’s father Varun told ANI that reopening the school without addressing security lapses would pose a serious threat to other students.

A parent of a student said:

From now we’ll have fear in our minds till our kids would reach home. The school should look after their safety (sic).

While another parent stressed on a thorough background check of school staff that is hired and said, “educated people should be recruited in schools.”

CBSE Issues Show Cause Notice to Ryan

CBSE has issued a show cause notice to Gurugram’s Ryan International School. The Board has given the school 15 days to revert. According to the report submitted by fact-finding committee of CBSE, the death of the 7-year-old could have been averted. The report also points out that drivers, conductors used students’ toilets and that there are not enough CCTV cameras in the school premises.

Ryan School to Reopen from Monday

Gurugram Deputy Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh told ANI that Ryan International School’s Bhondsi branch is likely to reopen from Monday.

A meeting of schools will be called to ensure safety guidelines are implemented... The school will be directed to ensure no such incidents take place again.
Gurugram Deputy Commissioner

Shock, Haemorrhage Killed Pradyumn, Says Postmortem Report

The postmortem report of Pradyumn Thakur has cited shock and haemorrhage as the cause of his death, reported ANI.

The report added that “external injury caused by single edged sharp weapon and its consequences were enough to cause death in normal case of nature.”

School, Police Tried to Hush up Case, Says Pradyuman's Father

Pradyumn’s grief-stricken father says bus conductor Ashok Kumar could not have executed the crime alone and that some others were involved in it. Given the sequence of events, the killing of his child appeared to be part of a well-hatched conspiracy, he said.

"It looks like everything had been planned in advance. The killer already had a knife... he visited the children's toilet which he shouldn't have... he threw the weapon used in crime there itself....”

How come he was moving around in the school premises with such a large knife? Then, the grill of the bathroom window was also found to have been cut... and now the conductor is giving contradicting statements. Don’t all these point to a conspiracy.

Thakur further said: "If the conductor was scared that he had been seen indulging in an illicit act by the boy and everybody would come to know about it, didn't he think about the consequences of committing a murder? Didn't he think that he could be hanged for this? Also, if Ashok Kumar is the killer, then why didn't he flee after killing Pradyuman?"

Asked if the murder could be an act of revenge killing, he ruled out the possibility, saying he did not have any enmity as such.

I am sure that some more persons are involved (in the killing). As we saw the school was trying to sweep the matter under the carpet and even police were dilly-dallying, we decided to approach the Supreme Court.

10 Ryan School Buses Impounded

The Delhi government's transport department has impounded 250 school buses, including 10 of Ryan International Group of Institutions, during its ongoing drive against errant school vehicles, a senior government official said on Friday.

Several enforcement teams of the transport department impounded 250 private school buses for violations, the official said.

“Among the impounded buses, 10 were of Ryan International group of schools,” the official said.

CM Khattar Visits Pradyumn's Parents

Haryana Chief Minister Manoharlal Khattar on Friday visited Pradyumn Thakur’s house in Gurugram. Following his visit, he announced that the government will be handing over the case to CBI.

Haryana CM Manoharlal Khattar with Pradyumn Thakur’s mother. 
Haryana CM Manoharlal Khattar with Pradyumn Thakur’s mother. 
(Photo: ANI)

Pradyumn’s father Barun Thakur said that he was “glad that the sensitivity this case deserved has been shown”, on the case being handed over to CBI.

CBI Takes Over

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced that the case now be handled by the CBI.

This case is handed over to the CBI for investigation.

Khattar also announced that in the meanwhile the government will be taking over the school’s management, for the next three months.

We are glad that the sensitivity this case deserved has been shown.
Varun Thakur, Pradyuman’s father

SC Issues Notice to Centre, States on Child Safety

The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Centre and all states, asking them to file a reply within three weeks on the issue of safety of children in schools.

Pintos to File for Anticipatory Bail in Punjab & Haryana HC

According to the ANI, the Pinto family is to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court today to file an anticipatory bail application, after the Bombay High Court rejected their plea for the same, earlier on Thursday.

Pintos Submit Passport Before Mumbai Police

The Pintos, who run the Ryan International group of schools have submitted their passport before the Mumbai Police Commissioner.

The Bombay HC had earlier directed them to submit passports before 9 pm on Thursday.

(Photo: ANI)

Watch: CCTV Visuals of Pradyumn Being Brought to Hospital

Anticipatory Bail Rejected

Bombay High Court on Thursday rejected the anticipatory bail applications of Augustine, Grace and Ryan Pinto.

The Court said that it will provide them interim protection from arrest till Friday, if they surrender their passports on Thursday.

Pradyumn’s father Barun Thakur welcomed Bombay High Court’s move.

Bombay High Court strengthened my trust in Indian judiciary. Justice will surely prevail.
Barun Thakur, Pradyumn’s Father

Ryan Pinto Not A Ryan International Trustee

Ryan Pinto’s lawyer in the Bombay High Court on Thursday said that Ryan Pinto was neither a trustee nor is on payroll of the group of institutions.

Bombay High Court has asked Augustine Pinto, Grace Pinto and Ryan Pinto to submit their passports to Mumbai Police Commissioner by 9 pm on Thursday.

CBSE Issues Circular on Safety

The CBSE on Thursday issued a circular with guidelines for schools, regarding safety of children in schools premises.

The board has asked schools to complete the evaluation process within two months and implement the other guidelines, failing which they would face derecognition.

“Such verification and evaluation for non-teaching staff such as bus drivers, conductors, peon, and other support staff may be done very carefully and in a detailed manner. This may be complied and reported online on CBSE website within two months of receipt of this circular,” the CBSE directive states.

Will File Chargesheet Soon: Gurugram Commissioner

Gurugram’s Commissioner on Thursday told media that the police has “enough evidence” to investigate the case.

We are scrutinising the records of Ryan International Group. A chargesheet will be filed within a short time.
Gurugram Commissioner

Police Questions School Gardener

The Gurugram Police on Thursday questioned Ryan International School’s gardener, Harpal Singh, a key witness in the murder case, and is likely to arrest more people, a senior SIT officer said.

The gardener was detained on Wednesday.

Besides Harpal Singh, the SIT has questioned 17 persons including section-in-charge Anju Dudeja, suspended acting principal Neerja Batra, former principal Rakhi Verma, bus driver Saurabh Raghav, bus contractor Harkesh Pradhan, and eight security guards.

The officer said all suspects on the police radar – whether the suspended school principal, senior management officials or staff members – are being questioned.

Ryan Staff Members Quizzed Today

The staff members of Ryan International School’s Bhondsi branch were quizzed again on 14 September by the Gurugram police. A forensic team will also recreate the crime scene, reported ANI.

Pradyumn Thakur's Death

On the morning of 8 September, seven-year-old Pradyumn Thakur's father dropped him off at Ryan International School in Gurugram's Bhondsi. Almost 15 minutes later, he received a call from the school informing him that Pradyumn had been injured and was being rushed to a hospital.

He was found in a pool of blood with his throat slit. On the same day, Gurugram police arrested Ashok Kumar, the school bus conductor after he confessed to the crime.

On 10 September, Pradyumn’s parents moved the Supreme Court seeking a CBI probe in to matter. A SC bench headed sought a response from the Centre, HRD ministry and the Haryana government on the plea filed by the parents within three weeks.

The school’s group head Ryan Pinto came under police scrutiny to which he responded:

We will not succumb to various false allegations that are being made nor will we fear the various controversies being spread. We should not unjustly be blamed or branded as the perpetrators.

The Gurugram police has arrested and questioned a number of school management and staff members. It claims to have enough evidence to investigate the case that is riddled with unanswered queries and allegations of evidence tampering.