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8-year-old Gurgaon school student killed by bus conductor after sexual assault attempt: Police

Ryan International School incident in Gurgaon sparked protests by parents, two of whom were arrested for vandalising the school property. Several others held a sit-in protest at the police commissioner’s office.

gurgaon Updated: Sep 09, 2017 00:36 IST
Leena Dhankhar and Abhishek Behl
Leena Dhankhar and Abhishek Behl
Hindustan Times, Gurgaon
Ryan International School,Gurgaon,Sexual assault
Parents take their children home after the murder of a second grader at Ryan International School in Gurgaon on Friday.(Parveen Kumar/HT Photo)

The Gurgaon police arrested on Friday night a 42-year-old school bus conductor for allegedly murdering an eight-year-old second grader at Ryan International School, Bhondsi in Gurgaon.

The boy was found outside a school toilet on the ground floor, crawling and bleeding profusely before he died.

A medical team that conducted the post-mortem examination said the victim’s throat was slit twice. Police sources close to the investigation said on questioning the accused revealed that he attempted sexual assault on the child inside the toilet. The medical team, however, denied sexual abuse.

The toilet is shared by students as well as bus drivers, conductors, and class 4 employees of the school.

“Ashok Kumar, resident of Ghamroj village in Gurgaon, has been arrested in this case,” officiating commissioner of police Simardeep Singh said.

Read more: Son killed by staff at Ryan International School or senior student, says father

Police said Kumar was arrested after sustained questioning and evidence pointed towards his role. Investigators retrieved footage from one of the 16 CCTV cameras in the school, which they said is vital to prove him guilty in the case.

Police received a call from school authorities around 8am and rushed to the spot along with the crime units.

“The victim after being stabbed struggled and crawled taking help of the walls outside the toilet when a fellow student and the school gardener noticed him in a pool of blood,” Ashok Bakshi, deputy commissioner of police, south Gurgaon, said.

Priyank Kanoongo, member (education), National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Delhi, reached the school and asked the Gurgaon police to include sections under the POCSO Act in the FIR and book the school staff for negligence.

Read more: Gurgaon school murder: Shocked parents question lack of security, demand swift justice

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic incident that occurred at our school today, involving a class 2 student. He had suffered critical injuries and was immediately rushed to the hospital by the school head Neerja Batra. Despite all attempts, unfortunately his life couldn’t be saved due to the extent of his injuries... The perpetrators of this heinous crime must be dealt with appropriate action,” the school management said in a statement.

After hearing the commotion, Anju Dudeja, a school teacher reached the toilet first and informed others. She along with Neerja Batra, officiating principal, took the victim in Batra’s car to a private hospital in Badshahpur and after first aid went to Artemis hospital where the boy was declared brought dead.

The victim was dropped at the school gate by his father around 7.55am. As soon as the father reached home, he received a call from the school that there was an emergency involving his son. The father called the school supervisor who informed him that his son was taken to a hospital.

Read more: Victim wanted to have chocolate on friend’s birthday, got death instead

The incident sparked protests by parents, two of whom were arrested for vandalising the school property. Several others held a sit-in protest at the police commissioner’s office.

Haryana DGP BS Sandhu told HT that it was a serious matter and all steps were being taken to solve the case. “Action would be taken against the school authorities for negligence,” he said.

The father, who works as quality manager in a Gurgaon-based company, said, “Police should take action against the school management for negligence.”

Read more: Gurgaon schools charge hefty fees but provide no security, say parents

The school management defended itself. “We tried to save the boy but it was a fatal incident,” Batra said.

The victim’s sister studies in Class 5 in the same school. Classmates told police he used to go to the toilet every morning after reaching school. Police said preliminary investigations suggested the accused knew about this habit. A blood-smeared knife was recovered from the spot.

First Published: Sep 09, 2017 00:19 IST