A bus driver spilled the beans about the alleged weapon used in the crime and claimed that he was being forced by cops and top officials of Ryan International to admit that the knife was part of the bus tool kit.
Two days after the Gurugram police arrested a bus conductor for allegedly killing Praduman Thakur, a Class 2 student, inside a Ryan International School toilet, a bus driver on Sunday spilled the beans about the alleged weapon used in the crime. Speaking to Mail Today, Saurabh Raghav, the driver of the same bus in which the accused was a conductor, claimed that he was being forced by police officers and top officials of Ryan International to admit that the knife used in the crime was part of the bus tool kit.
"Since I am the driver of the bus in which Ashok Kumar was a conductor, I was interrogated by police officers and top officials of the school. They forced me to admit that the weapon of crime (knife) was part of the bus tool kit. They detained me till 1.30am on Saturday and tried every possible way to terrorise me. Since the knife was not part of the toolkit, I categorically denied it," Raghav said.
As the motive and recovery of weapon play crucial role in any crime investigation, the driver's statement adds a new twist to the mystery. The apparent intention behind claiming the knife to be a part of the toolkit seems to present the fact that how easily the crime weapon was accessible to the conductor and there was nothing sneaked in from outside.
Raghav pointed out that the bus entered the school campus at 7.55am and after the students deboarded, he went outside the premises while Kumar had gone inside the main building.
Raghav was one of the persons who interacted with Kumar soon after Praduman's body was recovered from the toilet and taken to a WagonR car that belongs to acting principal Neerja Batra.
"Kumar was looking calm with no sign of anxiety or fear on his face despite blood stains all over his body. He told me that he was at the corridor where Praduman collapsed. There were teachers, students and the principal present on the spot but no one even took Praduman into his arms, instead forced Kumar to carry Praduman to the car. He had put Praduman on the rear seat of the car and teachers took him to hospital," Raghav told Mail Today.
He added that Kumar spent around seven to eight minutes with me and after that he went to refuel CNG in the bus.
As per the theory of Gurugram police, Kumar was waiting inside the toilet and as soon as Praduman entered, he tried to sodomise him. As Praduman resisted, Kumar slit his throat and dumped him in one corner of the toilet. He then washed his hands and knife in the toilet. In the meantime, Praduman somehow managed to reach the corridor and collapsed there. Kumar chased Praduman and tried to show his innocence.
Raghav's revelations contradict the police theory. Even Varun Thakur, Praduman's father, is not entirely satisfied with the police theory. "The distance between the gate and the main building was 500 metre, which takes three to four minutes. I dropped my two kids at 7.55am. It means Praduman reached the toilet around 8am and the school authority informed him at 8.10am that he was bleeding," Thakur said.
"The entire sequence of event spans in just 10 minutes and therefore it is hard to believe that a conductor having a knife was waiting inside the toilet to kill my son. There must be something that happened in the past or may be a pre-planned murder."
Thakur has appealed to the top officers of the Gurugram police and civil administration for an indepth investigation. "Since there is a loophole in the police theory, I want a parallel CBI inquiry into the matter," Thakur said.
Hundreds of angry parents and local villagers staged a protest outside the Ryan International School on Sunday. While the protest was going on, Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, the MP from Saharsa in Bihar, tried to enter the school with his supporters to show solidarity with the grieving parents. This led to scuffle between Yadav and the police. At least 20 people, including 10 journalists, were injured during the police lathicharge.
In a statement, Ryan Pinto, CEO, Ryan International Group of Institutions said, "We are all in shock by the horror of this crime that occurred despite various security protocols. The school is cooperating with the investigating authorities, and we have total faith in the law. We hope that the guilty get the severest punishment."