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Ryan probe puts Gurgaon police in the dock

The CBI chargesheet in the case will seal the fate of the Ryan management and other stakeholders

gurgaon Updated: Dec 25, 2017 23:44 IST
Abhishek Behl
Abhishek Behl
Hindustan Times
Gurgaon',Gurugram news,Sandeep Gadoli
Debunking the city police claim, the CBI apprehended a class 11 student for the murder of Pradhyumn Thakur.(Parveen Kumar/HT FILE)

If gangster Sandeep Gadoli’s encounter caused major embarrassment to the Gurgaon police in 2016, it was the alleged shoddy investigation into the murder of eight-year-old Pradhyumn Thakur, a student of Ryan International School, Bhondsi, that proved to be its undoing in 2017. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which took over the probe from the Gurgaon police, completely turned around the police theory and caught a Class 11 student of the same school for the murder.

Within two months, the entire case of Gurgaon police based on circumstantial evidence was brought to naught, after the court granted bail to bus conductor Ashok Kumar, who was put behind bars in connection with the case. The police did claim that the investigation was midway when the case was transferred to the CBI, but not many were ready to buy this argument.

Pradhyumn was found dead outside the school toilet on September 8, with his throat slit with a knife. Initially, the police arrested Kumar, but the CBI, which began its investigation on September 22, arrested the Class 11 student for allegedly murdering the boy. debunking the city police claim.

Although city police commissioner Sandeep Khirwar, who was abroad when the incident and subsequent arrest took place, claimed that they were in the midst of the investigation when the case was transferred to CBI on September 22, the claim could do little to prevent the image of the city police from being sullied.

Not only Khirwar, but Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, too, came to the defence of the state police and reiterated that the investigation had not been completed when the case was transferred.

The police also alleged that it was due to sustained pressure by the media that they were forced to take hasty steps, including the arrest of the bus driver.

However, Kumar, who was accused of murdering the 8-year-old boy, alleged in the court that he was forced to confess to a crime he didn’t commit.

Read I Ryan school murder: CBI probe throws spotlight on Gurgaon police botch-up

With the CBI exonerating Kumar, there could be fresh questions over the conduct of probe by the Special investigation team once the central investigative agency files its chargesheet in the coming months.

The father of the victim and his lawyers have alleged that the police had conducted the probe under political influence and made Kumar the scapegoat.

However, the CBI till date has refrained from commenting on the police probe, collection of evidence, recording of statements, and formation of opinion on the basis of which SIT was to file the chargesheet, which it never did. The fate of the Ryan school management and other stakeholders now depends on what the CBI finds and reports to the court.

First Published: Dec 25, 2017 23:44 IST