Gurgaon: Seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur was murdered at the Ryan International School in Gurgaon by a senior student who wanted his exams postponed, CBI sources said today in a stunning twist to the case that jolted the nation and led to a comprehensive review of safety in schools. A Class 11 student was detained last evening for killing Pradyuman, who was found outside a toilet near his classroom with his throat slit on September 8.
Here is your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story:
- The detained student is among five people seen on security footage near the toilet where Pradyuman’s body was found. He will be produced before the Juvenile Board today.
- The student, reportedly under psychiatric evaluation for a year over anger issues, had been questioned several times in the past few days and his account kept changing, sources say.
- Four students and a teacher have reportedly told the CBI that they saw him with a knife a day before the murder. The CBI is investigating whether it is the weapon that was found in a commode.
- Before the murder, the student had allegedly bragged to his friends that the exams would be postponed and they should not bother to study. His school record shows he was “not a very good student”, officials claim.
- The student’s father said he was told at midnight yesterday that his son was being detained for murder. “My son did not commit the crime. We had been cooperating with the police. My son was questioned four times…They came to our house and question him too. Yesterday, they kept me sitting at their office till midnight and told me your son has committed murder and we are arresting him. They said you have to sign his confession. I left at 2 am,” he told news agency ANI.
- A schoolbus conductor seen entering the toilet on CCTV footage was arrested hours after the murder. The police had said that Ashok Kumar confessed to killing the boy after trying to sexually assault him; questions were then raised about an outsider accessing the students’ toilet. Sources say he is not off the hook yet, but the CBI is focusing on the student for now.
- CCTV footage shows Pradyuman, a student of Class 2, crawling out of the bathroom after his throat had been slit. Forensic experts say his vocal cord was ruptured on the first strike and he couldn’t scream.
- Pradyuman was seen collapsing next to a wall, his blood pooling around him. His body was discovered around 8 am, not long after his father dropped him off.
- Pradyuman’s parents had accused the school of a cover-up and had alleged that the police had done a shoddy job. “The crime scene was cleaned, blood stains removed,” said the family’s lawyer, alleging a “larger conspiracy”.
- Under pressure from the parents, the Haryana government handed over the case to the CBI, which took over the case on September 22 and reexamined the CCTV footage and forensic evidence.