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Ryan school murder: Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar defends state police

CM says Haryana police would have reached the same conclusions as CBI has. State police had earlier named a different suspect, who has alleged coercion

india Updated: Nov 14, 2017 16:39 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Ryan murder case,Ryan international,pradyuman
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar.(HT file photo)

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar defended his state’s police on Tuesday amid allegations that they coerced a bus conductor into confessing to the murder of an eight-year-old boy in Gurgaon’s Ryan International school.

Khattar’s comments come days after the Central Bureau of Investigation presented a new suspect — a school senior — and a new sequence of alleged events. But that suspect too has said that he was forced to implicate himself.

“The Gurgaon Police investigations were on and they too would have come to the same conclusions if the case had not been handed over the CBI. No charge-sheet was filed yet. So, where does the failure part come?” Khattar told Hindustan Times in an interview.

Khattar had turned the investigation over to the federal agency after parents of the victim, Pradyuman, insisted.

The bus conductor, Ashok Kumar, has said that he will sue the Haryana police for their investigation framing him. Kumar is currently in prison.

“There is one more unknown person in the CCTV footage. All these angles were being probed by the police,” the CM said.

“The family and the people wanted the case to be probed by the CBI. There was intense pressure from media as well. So, we promptly handed over the case to the CBI”.

He maintained that the state government was committed to ensuring justice to the family. “We want guilty be punished and we are committed to that.”

‘NO POLLUTION POLITICS’

On his war of words with his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal, Khattar said no one should indulge in “pollution politics” and called for long-term measures to address the problems of crop burning by farmers.

Crop burning is seen as the main reason for a thick haze that envelops Haryana, Punjab and the national capital region for a month starting mid-October every year. But this year, the situation was particularly bad, prompting doctors to urge people to not go out of their homes.

“I am pained at what Kejriwal is doing. No one should do politics over politics,” he said. “I am ready to meet him whenever he wants. There are 40,000 farmers in Delhi and surprisingly he didn’t even know this.”

Kejriwal had written to Khattar and Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on November 8, seeking a meeting to discuss the issue of air pollution after alarm bells started ringing.

Khattar responded on November 10, saying he was ready to meet Kejriwal “anywhere anytime” and told him that no single person, organisation or government could improve the air quality. Kejriwal later tweeted that he will meet the Haryana CM in Chandigarh on Wednesday.

Khattar told HT that a strong mechanism was needed to enhance the outcome of constructive and collective steps.

“We should think about long-term measures as this season is already over and this pollution due to stubble burning will go within a day or two.”

Khattar agreed with Amarinder Singh that the Centre should call a meeting of all the affected states and seek their suggestions to address the problem.

He said the Haryana government has started creating awareness among the farmers about the adverse impact of stubble burning. “We have already disbursed Rs 36 crore to farmers for buying machines,” Khattar said.

First Published: Nov 14, 2017 15:52 IST