Tag Archives: – JUSTICE

NEW DELHI:  A 16-year-old schoolboy accused of slitting the throat of Pradyuman Thakur, his junior at the Ryan International School in Gurgaon, was today taken to knife shops and will also be taken to school as a CBI team tried to reconstruct the murder.

The CBI questioned the Class 11 student in custody for six hours before taking him to select shops to find out where the murder weapon -a knife - may have been bought. Sources say in the next two days, he will be taken to his school so he can retrace his steps on September 8, when seven-year-old Pradyuman was found murdered in a toilet near his classroom.


Investigators have told a Juvenile Court that the teen confessed to the crime in the presence of his father, independent witnesses and a social welfare board member. The motive, apparently, was to delay an exam, but the CBI is yet to find clinching evidence.

The agency, for the first time investigating a child for another child's murder, was yesterday granted custody of the student for three days.

Pradyuman, a Class 2 student, was found murdered some 15 minutes after he was dropped off by his father, along with his older sister at 7.55 am.

Seven hours later, the police told the media that they had the killer. Schoolbus conductor Ashok Kumar, they said, murdered Pradyuman after trying to sexually assault him. They claimed that they had recovered the knife from him.

The botch-up, according to the CBI, started from there.

"Gurugram Police claimed that Ashok had taken the bus driver's knife with him to the toilet to clean it. There he saw Pradyuman alone and tried to sexually assault him, and when he shouted for help, he slit his neck," an official said, referring to the police theory.

Two days after the arrest, the driver said there was no knife in the bus.

The police said they would file a charge-sheet in seven days.

There was no such charge-sheet when the CBI took over the case on September 29 after Pradyuman's family insisted that the police was in a hurry to produce results and was barking up the wrong tree.

The arrested bus conductor, questioned afresh by the CBI, repeatedly denied killing the child.
The child's autopsy report didn't mention sexual assault, which made the CBI wonder about the police investigation.

The gardener, who was among the first to see Pradyuman's body, told the CBI that he saw Ashok Kumar entering the toilet but didn't see a knife. He also told officials that two students told him Pradyuman was lying in a pool of blood in the washroom.

When the students were questioned, they mentioned a Class 11 student who was seen with a knife earlier.

The investigation changed course. The CBI examined extended and scientifically enhanced CCTV footage from near the toilet and saw the teenager near the toilet.

A background check of the student revealed that he had received psychiatric counselling for a year and had "anger management issues".

"When we were questioning him, we realized that he used to pick up fights in school and was termed rowdy by many of his classmates," an officer says.

More inquiries revealed that a day before Pradyuman was killed, he had told a few classmates that they shouldn't prepare for exams as there would be a school holiday next day (September 8).

But there is no solid evidence connecting the teen student to such a brutal murder, which left Pradyuman's vocal cord and wind-pipe ruptured.

The agency claims the teenager was not good in studies - as evidenced by his report cards - and wanted to postpone school exams and a parent-teacher meeting. Without proof, none of this will wash in court as motive.

It is still not clear whether the crime was planned or spur-of-the-moment. Officials are questioning why Pradyuman was killed so violently without any sexual assault involved.

After committing the crime, the CBI says, the teenager flushed the knife down the pot. But no forensic evidence links him to the weapon so far.

The agency says the possibility of the Haryana police planting evidence (the knife) on Ashok Kumar cannot be ruled out. "Our probe is going on we will investigate this also and then take a call whether it was deliberately amateur probe or was it all done  at someone's instance," reveals the officer.







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New Delhi: The Ryan International School in Gurgaon, where seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur was murdered last Friday, will be taken over for three months by the Haryana government, Chief Minister ML Khattar said today.

Mr Khattar, who met the grieving family of the child this afternoon, also said he had recommended a CBI investigation into the murder that has horrified the nation.
Pradyuman, a class 2 student, was found with his throat slit after he visited the washroom near his classroom. A schoolbus conductor, Ashok Kumar, was arrested hours later. He allegedly confessed to the police that he killed the boy after trying to sexually assault him.





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Mumbai: Veteran actor Dilip Kumar, 94, is feeling triumphant, says his wife Saira Banu after the couple regained possession of their disputed Pali Hill property here.

On Tuesday, Saira Banu had announced via Twitter that they took possession of the property, which has been his residence for decades. She said the Supreme Court had restored the possession to them.


Commenting on those who tried to usurp the property, Saira said: "I can only pray to God to forgive them and hope they have learned the lesson that ultimately it is truth and justice that prevails."

How is Dilip Kumar feeling about it?

"He is surely feeling vindicated and triumphant," said Saira, adding that a decade of struggle to get back the bungalow has been full of pain.

"To describe the pain and desperation isn't easy. As you are aware, it's been a while since Saab has been going through various health challenges. Just imagine how hard it must have been for him to come to terms with the fact that some people whom he trusted in his own kind and generous manner have betrayed his faith and have plotted to rob him of his peace of mind and his rights," she added.

Saira, who is always by Dilip Kumar's side, says she has faith in divine intervention and justice.

"As I said, I hope the culprits have understood that we live in a country where the judiciary is impeccable in delivering justice and above all there is a divine court which protects and provides help to the innocent and truthful," she said.






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New Delhi: The police have found CCTV footage from Gurgaon's Ryan International School which captured the last moments of seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur. The boy was found in the toilet of the school on Friday, his throat had been slit. Today Gurgaon police told that they have recovered CCTV footage from a camera installed outside the toilet, which was one of few functioning.

Police said the footage shows the child enter the washroom. Minutes later, bus conductor Ashok Kumar -- who has been accused of murdering the boy, entered. After a few minutes, a bleeding Pradyuman is seen crawling out. He collapsed near the door of the washroom, staining the wall with blood.

He was found there minutes later, lying in a pool of blood.

Postmortem report said the child had died of excessive bleeding within a couple of minutes. He had sustained two knife wounds on his neck, one of which had severed the windpipe, making him unable to cry out for help.
Ashok Kumar, who has been arrested, confessed to the crime, the police have said. According to the police, he said he had tried to sexually assault the boy and killed him when he offered resistance.

Eyewitnesses from the school said after Pradyuman was discovered, Ashok Kumar was the one who carried the bleeding boy to the car which took him to a hospital. Later, he came back and washed the bloodstained shirt he was wearing.

"He said the blood 'disgusted' him," said Subhash Garg, one of the parents who had been present at the school on Friday. Mr Garg also told that Ashok Kumar did not run away or show any sign of "fear or remorse".

Ashok Kumar's colleague, school bus driver Saurabh Raghav, however, claimed he had been made a scapegoat. Varun Thakur, Pradyuman's father, has also questioned the police version of events and demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation.







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New Delhi: Seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur, who was murdered in Gurgaon's Ryan International School last week, was not sexually assaulted and died of excessive bleeding, the doctor who conducted the post-mortem said on Tuesday. Pradyuman was slashed on the neck twice with a knife and one of the wounds severed a nerve that made him incapable of crying for help, the postmortem report said. The alleged assailant, school's bus conductor Ashok, is now in judicial custody. Hundreds of parents held protests outside the Navi Mumbai branch of the school for the fifth day on Tuesday, demanding better security for students. Union ministers Maneka Gandhi and Prakash Javadekar will look into the matter at a high-level meeting today





Here are the 10 updates in this story:
  1. "The child died due to excessive bleeding. There was no sexual assault on the minor and no semen marks were found on his school dress," news agency PTI quoted doctor, who conducted postmortem.




  1. "Only Ashok has murdered Pradyuman, no other person is involved," said senior police officer Birem Singh. The officer said during questioning, two children said Ashok was present in the toilet before the incident.




  1. The Women and Child Development ministry said Union minister Maneka Gandhi has requested Prakash Javadekar, the Human Resources Development Minister, to consider several suggestions.  




  1. Among the measures suggested are having women employees as support staff in schools and school buses, having strict norms for employing them and screening educational films on child sexual abuse in schools.




  1. Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told NDTV on Tuesday that education was the duty of the government and it was a "mistake" to "trust private schools". It was time the schools were made accountable, he said.




  1. "There were rules earlier, but nobody to monitor their implementation. Today you will make a few more rules... Authorities only wake up after an incident like this," Varun Thakur, the father of the murdered boy, said on Tuesday.




  1. The Bombay High Court has granted interim protection from arrest to Ryan International Group's founding chairman Augustine Pinto, 73, and his wife, managing director Grace Pinto, 62, till Wednesday. Their son Ryan Pinto, the group's Chief Executive Officer, had also applied for anticipatory bail.




  1. On Monday, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre and the Haryana government after Varun Thakur filed an appeal seeking a CBI probe into his son's murder and safety guidelines for children in schools.




  1. Two officials of the Ryan International School have been arrested after an investigation pointed at serious security lapses at the school. The report of the investigating team said many of the school's CCTV cameras were not working and part of the boundary wall was missing. Also, the support staff were using the same toilets as students since there was no separate toilet facility for them.  





  1. The body of the 7-year-old, a student of Class 2, was found inside the toilet of Ryan International School on Friday. His throat had been slit. The police said bus conductor Ashok has confessed that he tried to sexually assault the child and killed him when he resisted.





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Gurgaon: Seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur's face smiles from the colourful "family tree" on the notice board of Classroom 2-B at the Ryan International School in Gurgaon. Next to the class is the toilet where he was found on Friday with his throat slit, allegedly by a school bus conductor who tried to sexually assault him. The floor and the wall opposite the toilet are still stained with blood.

Three days after Pradyuman's murder, as the section of the school where the crime took place was opened to media teams, major security lapses revealed by an investigation were reinforced.

Pradyuman's classroom was very close to one of the exits of the building, and school buses were allowed to park right outside.

After he was dropped off by his father, Pradyuman walked into the building, dumped his bag in his class and ran to the washroom before assembly. Moments later, he was found on the floor, his light blue school shirt soaked in blood.

The window of the toilet was broken even before the murder.
A three-member team has found several lapses by the school. For one, there were no separate toilets for school bus conductors and drivers, which meant they used the same toilet as students. It was found that there were no proper checks and police verification before the school hired staff.

The CCTV cameras are installed at wrong places, found the team, and many of them were not even working.

The wall behind the school is unfinished, which means anybody could climb in. The boundary is not that high either, for anyone determined to break in.

The lack of neglect is also on display in fire extinguishers that are past their usable date. Since last night, two top officials of the school have been arrested, the principal and teachers have been questioned and the police are also looking to question the top management based in Mumbai.

Pradyuman's parents have alleged a deeper cover-up by the school. On their petition for a CBI investigation, the Supreme Court today issued notices to the Centre, Haryana, the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) and CBI.






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Gurgaon:  The principal and a few teachers of Ryan International School in Gurgaon where a seven-year-old boy was found murdered on Friday has been arrested after the investigation team found serious security lapses at the school. Other teachers too are being questioned by the police.

The school will remain closed at least until tomorrow. Ryan International School management informed the parents that it will be closed for another two days "to express our solidarity with the parents and family of the child."

The notification said junior and nursery school sections will remain closed until further notice. Classes 6 to 12, however, will reopen on Wednesday for exams.

The body of the 7-year-old, a student of Class 2, was found inside the school's toilet on Friday an hour after his father had dropped him off. His throat had been slit. The police have arrested the conductor of his school bus, Ashok. They say he had tried to sexually assault the boy and killed him when he resisted.

A report by a three-member Special Investigation Team has pointed out several serious security lapses at the school. The investigation team said many of the CCTV cameras installed in the school campus were not working. The team also found there separate toilets were not provided for school bus conductors and drivers.

Another worrying detail from the report is that the school hired staff without proper background checks and police verification.

Parents and locals continued to protest outside the school on Sunday. Protesters set a nearby liquor shop on fire, prompting the police to use lathis or batons to control the mob.
The family of the boy has demanded that the investigation be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI. Haryana's Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said the BJP government in the state is not against the idea of a CBI probe.

The school management said it is "cooperating to our fullest" with the police investigations and hoped that the guilty would be given the severest punishment as per the law.

In a statement, Ryan Pinto, CEO of Ryan International Schools Group, said the school should not be held "culpable of a crime where it is itself a victim of unfortunate circumstances."






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The Supreme Court today refused to intervene in the issue of Gorakhpur hospital deaths, saying the matter was being handled by the Uttar Pradesh government. Any grievances about it should be raised before the Allahabad High Court, the top court told a lawyer who mentioned the issue before it this morning.

The lawyer had mentioned the issue before a bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud. He also sought a probe by the Special Investigation Team into the matter.

Last week, more than 60 children died at Gorakhpur's BRD Medical College. Parents and others have blamed oxygen shortage for the deaths -- a claim the hospital has denied. The state government has already taken action, removing the doctor in charge of the paediatrics ward and suspending the hospital chief.
An investigation will also be conducted, said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during his visit to the hospital yesterday, and promised exemplary punishment for the guilty. Union minister JP Nadda, who had accompanied the Chief Minister, ruled out a separate investigation by the Centre, saying the state government had its "full support".

The oxygen supply had been stopped by the vendor after the hospital had defaulted on the payment. On Thursday, the hospital had been functioning without any oxygen cylinders for two hours.

The Chief Minister has said it would be "heinous" if the children had died because of a disruption in oxygen supply. He also said the government had cleared the payment for the oxygen vendor on August 7. The hospital, however, had not released the funds till August 11.


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A large number of policemen, some forming chains, waited for hours today at a police station in Chandigarh for Vikas Barala, the son of Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala, summoned over charges that he stalked a woman and chased her on the streets of Chandigarh last week.
23-year-old Barala junior had been asked to appear by 11 am. Hours later, the police only knew he was heading for Chandigarh.

Vikas and his friend Ashish are out on bail after they were arrested by a police patrol team on Saturday, hours after a chilling high-speed chase that the police say has been recorded on six CCTV cameras.


Varnika Kundu, a 29-year-old DJ, has alleged that after midnight on Friday, Vikas Barala and Ashish tailgated her, blocked her way, banged on her car window and tried to force her door open.  In a Facebook post that went viral, she shared that she felt "lucky, because I'm not lying raped and murdered in a ditch somewhere."

Calling her "Beti Varnika", Subhash Barala said that his son would cooperate fully with the police.

"We respect the law. The moment we learnt about the notice, Vikas headed for Chandigarh," Mr Barala told reporters, even pausing to take a call from his son during the press conference.


Earlier, a senior police officer Tejinder Luthra said: "We now have every sufficient evidence in the case...Everything under the sun will be done to ensure justice."

Ms Kundu's Facebook post brought police investigations into the media glare; the police have denied any pressure from the BJP, which rules the state, to protect the top leader's son.

Vikas Barala and his friend were let off within hours of their arrest because the charges against them - stalking and drink driving - are bailable. The police decided against a tougher kidnapping charge claiming Varnika Kundu did not refer to it in her statement before the magistrate.

Subhash Barala emphatically denied influencing investigations. "There is no pressure from me or the BJP in this case till now and it will not happen in the future," he said yesterday.

Mr Barala's resignation has been ruled out by the BJP, which asserts that the case had "nothing to do with him" but involved his son.




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Babumoshai Bandookbaaz  writer Ghalib Asad Bhopali says that Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) has better representation than the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), which demanded 48 cuts of the films to get 'A' certification.

He says the film's team is expecting justice for "Babumoshai Bandookbaaz" from the FCAT.

Asked about his expectation of the decision on the film, Bhopali told IANS: "We are expecting justice for our film and I am sure it will be a fair judgment because the panelists of the Tribunal come from different walks of life."

"On the other hand, in CBFC, there are five members from the same socio-cultural background and, therefore, their approach towards the understanding of judging a film and sentiments of our audience is not wide. I think FCAT has better representatives than CBFC and, therefore, we hope for a better judgment."

He added: "India is a diverse country with different cultures and religions. So, it is important to understand everyone's sentiments and who will relate with what story while judging a film. In the Tribunal, we have seen, there is one theatre personality, one journalist, a former Judge, a politician among others. Therefore, the film will be judged from different perspectives. That is important for justice."

The controversy around the film started when the makers went to the CBFC. They have alleged that the CBFC panel not only demanded 48 cuts of the film that will "spoil the essence of the narration", but also misbehaved with the producer of the film, Kiran Shroff.

Asked about why they didn't go to CBFC's Revising Committee, Bhopali said: "When our film' director Kushan Nandy went to CBFC for the certification, (CBFC Chairperson) Pahlaj Nihalani said, 'You can go to Revising Committee, but we will double the cuts'. So, there's no point of going through that."




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