NEW DELHI, Sep 14 : Was Pradyuman Thakur, a seven-year-old student of Ryan International School in Gurgaon, murdered by more than one person? Was bus conductor Ashok Kumar, arrested for murdering the boy, falsely implicated in the case that has grabbed national attention?
Answers to these questions may get clearer with Gurgaon Police taking into custody CCTV footage that shows the sequence of events leading up to and the moments right after the Pradyuman Thakur’s murder. The footage includes video from a camera outside the Ryan school washroom where the seven-year-old was murdered.
According to CCTV grabs from cameras installed around Ryan International, Gurgaon, the bus that conductor Ashok Kumar was on reached the school at 7.40 am on Friday, September 8.
Once all the children the bus disembark and head to their classes, the driver proceeds to park the bus inside the school compound. At the same time, Ashok enters the school via its main gate and goes directly to the washroom where Pradyuman was killed.
At 7.55 am, Pradyuman arrives at school – his father Varun drops the boy and his sister off at the school’s main gate – the same gate through which Ashok had entered minutes earlier. While Pradyuman’s sister heads to her classroom, the boy goes to the washroom.
CCTV footage from a camera near the washroom shows both Ashok and Pradyuman entering the bathroom, one after another. The area around the washroom is seen deserted between 7.55 am and 8.05 am, which is when Ashok is seen coming out of the bathroom.
Notably, the CCTV footage does not show a third person entering the bathroom between 7.55 am and 8.05 am.
Seconds after Ashok leaves the washroom, Pradyuman is seen crawling out, holding his neck with his hand.
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.
The first person to come across Pradyuman’s bloody body is the school gardener, who spots the boy lying on the floor outside the washroom and raises an alarm.
A few teachers from nearby classrooms then rush outside and gather around the boy’s body.
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.
The seven-year-old boy was rushed to a nearby hospital in the teacher’s car, but by then it was too late.
“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 NDTV 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.