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Ryan school murder: Juvenile accused retracts confession, says he was forced into it

gurgaon Updated: Nov 14, 2017 14:08 IST
Leena Dhankhar and Rajesh Ahuja
Leena Dhankhar and Rajesh Ahuja
Hindustan Times, Gurgaon/New Delhi
Ryan school murder,Ryan murder,Pradhyuman Thakur

CBI produce the juvenile accused in a Gurgaon court at the conclusion of a three-day remand, in Gurgaon, on November 11, 2017. (Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)

The juvenile accused of murdering Class 2 student Pradhyumn Thakur at Gurgaon’s Ryan International School has retracted the confession he was said to have made before investigators, sources told HT on Monday.

The investigators forced him to confess, the accused said on Monday to a team of CBI officials and a legal-cum-probation officer from the district child protection unit appointed by the Juvenile Justice Board to conduct a social investigation, sources said. The boy is said to have alleged the investigators beat him up and recorded the confession in their own words.

A CBI spokesperson refused to comment.

When the visiting team reached the observation home in Faridabad, they got to know the accused’s family members were present there, sources said. “To verify their presence and to check whether they met the accused, agency officials have asked for CCTV footage as meetings are not allowed on Mondays. Family meetings can only take place on Tuesdays and Fridays,” a source said.

Legal experts said a confessional statement before a police officer did not hold any evidential value.

“But if the statement of the accused leads to the recovery of any article connected with the crime, the confession can have a little more credibility. But even then the investigating agency will have to prove case the case against the accused beyond doubt,” said Karan Singh, a lawyer.

The accused narrated a different sequence of events to the visiting team to the one he purportedly told investigators in his confession.

He said on the day of the incident, he first visited a temple near his house to say shradh prayers for his grandmother, sources said. The boy said he reached school around 8am. He saw a friend who asked him to wait, so he stopped near the water cooler. He waited there for about two minutes but when the friend did not turn up, he went to the music room to meet the teacher as she had recently lost her father.

As the music room was locked, he returned but the friend was still not there. So, he decided to go the washroom, where he heard the screams of a boy who was vomiting blood. He rushed out and informed Harpal, the gardener, and then a teacher about the injured boy, the accused told the visiting team, sources said.

Monday’s developments brought about another twist in the case in which Gurgaon police earlier said the school bus conductor Ashok Kumar stabbed Thakur to death. CBI sources said Kumar was present in the washroom at the time of the crime, going by CCTV footage, but he was at the urinals and did not notice the boys who were in a cubicle.

First Published: Nov 13, 2017 23:32 IST