CBI says school bus conductor framed, pulls up Gurgaon cops
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has debunked Gurgaon Police’s theory that bus conductor Ashok Kumar had murdered the class 2 student at a private school on Sohna road on September 8, 2017.
The agency, though, didn’t charge any Gurgaon police official in the case. But it didn’t mince any word in the chargesheet while describing the role played by the police in framing Kumar.
The CBI said the first disclosure statement (the confessional statement of an accused that leads to recovery of evidence) of Ashok Kumar was recorded by Gurgaon police on September 9 last year, the day after the boy was found murdered.
The knife theory
According to that statement, Ashok Kumar said he purchased the knife used to slit the throat of ‘Prince’ (the victim) from a shop in Agra in Uttar Pradesh. He volunteered to take the police to Agra to identify the shop, it said.
“However, investigation by the CBI revealed that Gurugram police didn’t conduct any investigation with regard to the fact stated by conductor Ashok Kumar in his confession dated September 8 as regards the source of knife used in committing the murder of Prince (fictitious name of victim given by CBI) before recording the disclosure statement dated September 9,” says the chargesheet.
On September 10, the police recorded another statement in which Kumar said the “knife he used in the crime” was taken from the tool box of the school bus. So, there was no need to go to Agra as per his earlier disclosure.
But when the CBI examined the driver of the same school bus, he said no knife was lying in the tool box as he had cleaned it two days before the murder.
“He (bus driver) informed this fact to the Gurugram police during questioning. Investigation revealed Gurugram police had pressured him on September 8 in the school premises to admit that the knife was available in the tool box of the bus but he didn’t succumb to the pressure... Shri Saurabh (Raghav, the bus driver) also reiterated these facts in his statement recorded under section 164 at Saket court, New Delhi, on January 9, 2018,” says the CBI chargesheet, castigating the role played by Gurgaon Police in framing Ashok Kumar in the case.
Sexual assault and blood stains
The police had claimed that Kumar was masturbating in the washroom when he saw Prince there and tried to sexually assault him. But after the forensic probe, the CBI rejected the theory of masturbation and sexual assault. The forensic report said none of the fingerprints lifted from the scene of crime matched with that of Kumar.
A teacher of the school, Anju Dudeja, told the CBI that she had asked Ashok Kumar to lift the victim from the washroom in order to take him to a hospital and that is how his clothes were stained with blood. Dudeja gave a similar statement before the magistrate under section 164.
Gardener Harpal told the CBI that on the day of incident, he had seen Ashok Kumar outside the washroom and told him that Dudeja was calling him for help. Harpal said Ashok Kumar was not in the washroom and his clothes did not have any blood stains before the injured victim was recovered. But The Gurgaon police had claimed that Harpal had seen Ashok Kumar inside the toilet.
“CBI investigation revealed that Sh Harpal Mali was pressurised by the Gurugram police officials to state about the presence of Ashok Kumar inside the toilet,” says the chargesheet.
The agency said the cops obtained Harpal’s statement under coercion. The CBI said his version recorded by the city police that there were blood stains on the clothes of Ashok Kumar before he picked up the victim was false.
In Kumar’s alleged confession to police, he says he had opened the shorts of the victim to sexually assault him. But later, the CBI found that the school nurse, who accompanied the child to hospital, removed the buttons.
The CBI said Ashok Kumar had never touched any child in the bus nor any complaint had been made against him by any school teacher travelling in the bus.
Focus on police
Gurgaon police commissioner Sandeep Khirwar said they were waiting for the CBI to make the final closure in the case. “These things are part of the investigation and in case any recommendations or directions have been made, appropriate action will be initiated,” said Khirwar. He said investigation in the case was transferred to CBI midway.
The CBI has clearly said Kumar was tortured to confess the crime before the police first and later before the media.
Haryana DGP BS Sandhu said, “If any recommendations are made regarding the shortcomings in investigation by the police, then appropriate action would be initiated.”
Sources said further investigation will include the role of members of the special investigation team of Gurgaon police in pinning the blame on Kumar.
Four officials of the team in particular are under the scanner for coercing a confession out of the conductor and forcing gardener Harpal to give a false testimony.
The role of the school management and its conduct after the murder is also being probed, the sources said .
“The role of the police and the school management in this entire episode will become clear after CBI files the supplementary charge sheet on February 12. I hope the probe will identify those involved in falsely implicating Ashok Kumar,” said Sushil Tekriwal, counsel for the complainant.