Ryan School Murder: 2 Officials Arrested, To Be Produced in Court

Accused Ashok Kumar’s father claimed his son gave in to police pressure and “lied” about killing the 7-year-old.

Updated
India
4 min read
Demonstrators raise slogans during a protest outside Ryan International School as they demand action against the school.
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Two officials of Ryan International School, Gurugram, were arrested on Sunday night after a seven-year-old boy was found dead in the premises. They will be produced in court on Monday, according to reports.

The Gurugram police commissioner also said that a case has been lodged against school’s management.

Agitated parents gathered outside the school in Bhondsi, Gurugram on 10 September, to demand a CBI probe into the murder of Pradyumn Thakur, a 7-year-old student, within the school premises. Demonstrators broke window panes in the course of the protest. The protesters also burned down a liquor shop near the school.

The police resorted to lathicharge to control the crowd. “We were protesting peacefully, we just wanted justice. But they chased and beat us,” a protester, with a bloodied face, told The Quint.

A few mediapersons who were caught between angry protesters and the Haryana police were left injured. Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar later said that medical treatment will be provided to the journalists who were injured and compensation will be paid. “It is unfortunate and it shouldn't have happened. Directing action against policemen responsible for it,” he said.

ANI personnel attacked by Haryana police, lathicharged during coverage of Ryan International School protest in Gurugram.
ANI personnel attacked by Haryana police, lathicharged during coverage of Ryan International School protest in Gurugram.
(Photo: ANI)

Following the lathicharge, Varun Thakur, the father of the deceased student requested all protesters to maintain peace. ANI quoted him as saying:

Want to request all parents who are supporting us that please do not get involved in violence. Police is doing its job, request a parallel CBI inquiry so that every detail related to the case is revealed.

Thakur also asked how nobody could hear his child when his throat was slit or if his screams were deliberately ignored. Alleging foul play, he said:

Findings of SIT indicate that the school has severe administrative loopholes. All of these make things doubtful. I think the investigation is being influenced by someone who does not want the truth to come out.

A relative of the Thakurs and a Supreme Court advocate, Sushil Tekriwal said the family will approach the apex court on Monday. “We have prepared our petition,” he said.

Watch The Quint’s ground report from Ryan International School:

Angry Parents Burn Liquor Store Down

Angry parents burnt down the liquor store, that is at a reported distance of 50 meters from the school. As per state excise policy, liquor stores have to be 150 meters away from any educational institution.

Angry parents burnt a liquor store down.
Angry parents burnt a liquor store down.
(Photo: Mythreyee Ramesh/The Quint)

Haryana Education Minister Vows Strict Action

Haryana’s Education Minister, Ram Bilas Sharma, addressed the press, on 10 September, and said that strict action will be taken against those responsible for the death of the student. He said that the liquor store, located near the school, will be shut down.

If the boy’s parents are unhappy with the probe then the Haryana government is ready to involve other agencies into the investigation.

“No CCTV, No Security”

“The students and the staff except for the teachers use the same toilet, there are two guards but anybody can go in and out of the gate. There’s even a liquor shop only a few steps away,” a protester told The Quint.

A few alumni members of the school, who joined in the protest, pointed out security lapses in the school. “There were no CCTV cameras when I studied in the school five years ago,” a former student claimed.

Findings of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) corroborated some of the alumni’s claims. The team reported a broken boundary wall, lack of separate toilet for staff and expired fire extinguishers, other than faulty CCTV cameras and no police verification of employees.

Victim’s Parents Demand CBI Probe

The mother of the 7-year-old has demanded a CBI probe the case. She accused the principal of the school of being indifferent.

She was indifferent when she came to the hospital. Put her in jail. I want to know what happened to my child. I want the CBI to probe the case.
Victim’s mother

The victim’s sister, Vidhi Thakur, told News18 that teachers at Ryan International turned a blind eye to the complaints of the students.

If we tell teachers about the workers being able to walk everywhere in the school, they ignore us. They would ask us to move back to our seats.
Vidhi Thakur, Victim’s sister

Vidhi reportedly went to school with her brother on 8 September, the day he was murdered.

Family of Accused Claim he Lied Under Pressure

The family of Ashok Kumar, who has been arrested in connection with the crime, has alleged that the 42-year-old bus conductor was being falsely charged for the murder of the child. Kumar’s family has reportedly been denied access when they asked to meet the victim’s family.

Kumar’s wife told India Today that her husband was innocent. “We have two children and he loves them very much. Ask anyone, he is not the kind of person who acts like this. He has been framed. My husband is innocent,” she was quoted as saying.

Kumar’s father claimed that his son had succumbed to police pressure and "lied" to escape police torture.

"My son is not like this. He has been framed. The entire village knows about his character. He has never even gotten into a fight with anyone. He is lying to escape police torture," he was quoted as saying.

(With inputs from India Today, News18)

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