Ashok Kumar got bail yesterday from a Gurgaon court - the Rs 50,000 surety was furnished by a neighbour who pledged his car. He had applied for bail after the central Bureau of Investigation overturned the Gurgaon police's conclusion that he was guilty.
The Gurgaon police had said that Ashok Kumar had confessed to sexually assaulting the child and killing him when he offered resistance. But the agency contended that the police had framed the man and planted evidence against him.
The investigators have arrested a teenage student of the school for the murder, saying he had committed the crime to escape exams and a parent-teacher meeting. But the investigators do not have any clinching evidence against him and the teen's father said his son had been tortured to extract a confession. The teen is currently in a juvenile home.
The agency had not contested Mr Kumar's bail. But it had not given him a clean chit either. Mr Kumar has been asked to present himself before the agency whenever the investigators wish to question him.
Barun Thakur, the father of Pradyuman, had also expressed doubts about Ashok Kumar's guilt. He said the conductor had been kind to the children.
Ashok Kumar's neighbours, too, said the man could not be guilty. His family alleged that he had been tortured and forced to confess to a murder he didn't commit.