CBI takes over murder probe: Police summon Ryan CEO, founders for questioning

Two weeks after seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur was murdered within the premises of Ryan International School’s Bhondsi branch, Gurgaon Police have issued a notice to the school’s owners, asking them to appear for questioning Tuesday.  

Meanwhile, the CBI has taken over the investigation following directions from Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. Sources said the agency received a notification from the Department of Personnel and Training Friday. 

According to police, a notice was served to CEO Ryan Pinto, Managing Director Grace Pinto, and Founding Chairman Augustine Pinto on Thursday. “A notice was served to them in Mumbai, and they have been asked to appear for interrogation on September 26, along with documents relevant to the probe,” said Sandeep Khirwar, Commissioner of Police.  

The Pintos had applied for anticipatory bail in the High Court last week, but their plea was rejected. 

The incident took place on September 8. Pradyuman, a Class II student, was killed inside a school bathroom, 10 minutes after his father dropped him off.  

A bus conductor, Ashok Kumar, had been arrested in connection with the crime, with police claiming he has confessed that he tried to sexually assault the child but slit his throat when he tried to raise an alarm. 

Kumar has since alleged that the confession was forced out of him, and was a result of being tortured in police custody. A case had initially been registered under relevant IPC sections, but Section 75 (Care and Protection) of the Juvenile Justice Act was added to the FIR later. Two members of the school’s management have already been arrested. 

Earlier in the day, Pradyuman’s father, Barun Thakur, had said he would approach the Supreme Court if the CBI does not begin an enquiry into the matter within 24 hours. He had also asked why the Pintos are yet to be questioned in the case.  

Demanding that the Pintos be “arrested forthwith, and be subjected to the law of land and judicial scrutiny”, Thakur’s lawyer, Sushil K Tekriwal, said, “The question is why are they underground? They are politically connected. Why are they being protected? It’s possible that a big name is involved.”