Bus conductor arrested for sexually assaulting and killing 7-year-old school boy
Police stand guards at Ryan International School during a protest, in Gurugram on Saturday. Pic/PTI
Gurgaon: A seven-year-old boy who was on Saturday found with his throat slit and lying in a pool of blood in a washroom of Ryan International School in Sohna was allegedly killed by a bus conductor who also tried to sexually abuse the minor, the police said.
The police claimed to have cracked the case hours after the gruesome murder with the arrest of Ashok Kumar, one of the school's bus conductors. Sumit Kuhar, DCP Crime, Gurgaon, said the alleged killer had also tried to sodomise the Class 2 student. "But when the student resisted and cried, he killed him and fled after leaving the knife behind," the DCP claimed. The police, who said they had detained ten people, told PTI they zeroed in on the accused after two students saw him walking down a corridor.
Ashok Kumar confessed to the crime after being grilled by a team, the police said.
The boy's father, Varun Thakur, who works as a quality manager with a private firm in Gurgaon, accused the school administration of negligence and said he was not told how critical his child was. "They told me his health had deteriorated suddenly. They did not take care of my son. He could have been saved if he had been taken to a hospital in time," said Thakur, who dropped his son and daughter, a student of Class 5, to the
school in the morning. I dropped him today at around 7.30 a.m. He was happy," the grieving father said.
The death triggered outrage, with hundreds of parents and locals gathering outside the private school and protesting against the school management. Two people were arrested for vandalising school property. The police said some students found the boy in the washroom in the school building in the Sohna area at around 8.30 am.
"The students alerted the teachers and the school management then informed the police, who rushed him to Artemis Hospital. He was declared brought dead by doctors," Ravinder Kumar, PRO Gurgaon Police, said.
The police said Ashok Kumar told them he managed to carry a knife into the school because he knew he would not be frisked by the guards at the gate since he was a known face. The police said he then went to the washroom, and then waited there, intending to commit sodomy on any student who walked in.
"As soon as the boy entered the toilet, Kumar held him. But the boy resisted his attempts with full force and when the accused failed to sodomise him, he slit his throat and right ear," a senior police officer told PTI.
The police claimed he later washed his hands and walked out of the washroom, leaving the knife behind. He also tried to help the teachers when the boy was being taken to the hospital.
"Ashok Kumar carried the boy with the others and took him to the car," the officer said. The police said it had earlier detained and questioned 10 people, including a gardener, conductors, and drivers. "We have been investigating their role since the morning," the DCP said.
School head Neerja Batra said she had come out of the morning assembly prayers when she saw a teacher running, followed by two more teachers. "The child was in a pool of blood. We did not wait for a second and put the child in my vehicle and I sent them to the hospital," she said.
The school said in a statement it was "deeply saddened by the tragic incident". "He had suffered critical injuries and was immediately rushed to the hospital by the school head. Despite all attempts, unfortunately, his life couldn't be saved," it said, adding that the school was cooperating with the police.
In 2016, the body of a six-year-old student of the school's Vasant Kunj branch in south Delhi was found in a water tank. The principal and a teacher were booked for negligence in May this year. The brutal murder in the upmarket Gurgaon school evoked widespread horror, prompting the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to visit the school and the hospital where the child was taken.
The apex body for child rights recommended that a case of negligence be registered against the management of the school. "We have told the police that a case of negligence be registered against the school management as we have found that the school did not undertake police verification of teaching and non-teaching staff," said Priyank Kanoongo, Member RTE & Education, NCPCR.
A police team, including forensic experts, had earlier collected blood samples and fingerprints from the washroom and tested the blood stained knife that had been recovered from the spot. The body has been sent for a postmortem, the police said.
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