A Class 11 student's arrest for Pradyuman Thakur's murder in Gurgaon could lead to Ashok Kumars release
GURGAON: As the CBI announced the arrest of a class 11 student early on Wednesday
, there was a sense of shock and disbelief in Gurgaon's Ryan International School. In a small house 6 km away, a sense of relief and hope. This is Ashok Kumar's home in Gurgaon's Ghamroj village, the 42-year-old bus conductor who was picked up from his house and bundled into a jeep 62 days ago by Gurgaon police
for murdering seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur.
According to the Gurgaon police, Ashok Kumar had confessed to killing the boy
after trying to sexually assault him.
"He was beaten up, tortured... Who wouldn't confess," said Mamata about her husband's arrest in less than 24 hours of the murder of the class 2 student on 8 September
. She said her husband had been framed by the school and the police as it was easy. "Because we are poor," she said after the CBI, which had taken over the case on September 22
, delivered a stunning twist on Wednesday.
The CBI said a Class 11 student who wanted his exams and a parent-teacher meeting postponed
, had killed Pradyuman. The student had allegedly planned the killing but hadn't identified his target. Pradyuman just happened to walk into the toilet and present an opportunity.
Ashok Kumar's wife said they recognise that had it not been for the parents of Pradyuman Thakur
boy who didn't stop till a CBI probe was ordered, her husband didn't stand a chance of getting out of jail any time soon.
"I want to meet Pradyuman's family and thank the mother that they asked for the CBI investigation... They have supported us," she told NDTV.Pradyuman Thakur
's father, Varun Thakur - quite like the family of the man jailed for killing his son - didn't believe the police. "We never believed the conductor was the killer... the sexual assault theory didn't fit the time-frame," Mr Thakur told NDTV.
For two weeks after his son's brutal murder, Mr Thakur and his wife kept on building up public opinion for a CBI probe. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar finally gave in.
The agency hasn't yet announced that the bus conductor is off the hook. But his family believes there is little reason to accuse him of any offence now.
With the police pinning the blame on Ashok Kumar, much of the debate around safety in schools had focussed on staff members, particularly non-teaching staff.
Some of this could get recalibrated too. Education board CBSE has mandated schools put them through psychometric tests
used to assess a person's intelligence and personality as well, a directive that is reported to have stalled recruitments.