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CBI produces him before Juvenile Justice Board after “confession”, his alleged motive was postponement of school exam

In a huge development, CBI has arrested a Class XI student of Ryan International School, Bhondsi, Gurugram, for the murder of seven-year-old Pradhyumn Thakur, Class II student of the same school. According to CBI, the student has reportedly confessed to the crime. He has been produced before the Juvenile Justice Board which will take a call whether to treat him as a major or minor under amended JJ Act (2016).

Pradhyumn was found inside a toilet of the school with his throat slit on September 8. Footage from a second CCTV has shown the detained teenager entering the toilet with a knife, CBI has said. The first CCTV showed a badly injured Pradhyumn crawling out of the toilet. The weapon was found at the bottom of the commode where the accused had dropped it and unsuccessfully tried to flush it. It was not found in possession of the bus conductor, Ashok Kumar, as the Haryana Police had claimed.

The CBI has accused the Haryana Police of framing Kumar by extracting a confession from him under duress in the case. It has also accused the police of destruction of evidence. It has claimed that Haryana DGP BS Sandhu was in cahoots with the Ryan International management and the father of the accused, who is a senior advocate, and tried to cover up the murder.

The boy allegedly committed the murder in order to defer the school examination and a parent-teacher meeting as he was academically weak and poorly prepared. It has also become known that he was under psychiatric treatment. The sports teacher, too, is allegedly an eyewitness in the case. The CBI ruled out sexual offence as the motive in the case.

It had taken over the probe on September 23, after repeated appeals from Pradhyumn’s father, Varun Thakur, for a fair investigation in the case.

“My son is innocent. It was he who informed the gardener and the teachers of the injury to Pradhyumn. Besides, he was not present at the spot of the crime when it took place and was writing a test. We are being framed,” the father of the accused said. “The CBI questioned him the whole day and did not let me meet him. Around 11 pm, they told me that he has murdered Pradhyumn,” he added.

DGP Sandhu, too, put on a brave face. Even while debate raged in the media on whether or not he should be sacked as punishment for botching up the investigation, he told reporters, “Koi baat nahin. Let the CBI investigate the case. Once the probe is complete, the truth will come to fore.”

—India Legal Bureau

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