CBI told my son they’d kill us: Ryan boy’s fa­ther

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - FRONT PAGE - Ro­hit.David@

Gurgaon: Two days af­ter mem­bers of the ju­ve­nile jus­tice board said he had ad­mit­ted to killing Prad­hyumn Thakur and even ex­plained how he had done so, the Class 11Ryan In­ter­na­tional School stu­dent held for the Septem­ber 8 mur­der told a child pro­tec­tion of­fi­cer (CPO) he was be­ing framed and hadn’t killed any­one.

In a sep­a­rate in­ter­ac­tion with TOIon Tues­day, the stu­dent’s fa­ther ac­cused the CBI of tor­tur­ing and scar­ing the boy to own up to a crime “he hasn’t com­mit­ted”. “CBI of­fi­cers had threat­ened to shoot his en­tire fam­ily if he didn’t con­fess to the mur­der. It was af­ter this threat that he ad­mit­ted to the mur­der,” he said.

The16-year-old boy is be­lieved to have pleaded his in­no­cence be­fore the CPO on Mon­day at the ob- ser­va­tion home in Farid­abad, where he will stay till Novem­ber 22. “The young­ster looked calm. I told him, ‘I am a child pro­tec­tion of­fi­cer. Please tell me any­thing with­out fear.’ He said, ‘I haven’t mur­dered any­one, I’m be­ing framed’,” the CPO, who re­quested anonymity, told TOI.

On Novem­ber 8, af­ter de­tain­ing the boy, the CBI had said he had con­fessed be­fore in­ves­ti­ga­tors as well as his fa­ther. The CPO said the boy told him he had done so be­cause he was scared. “He said he was beaten up and tor­tured by the in­ves­ti­ga­tors. The CBI didn’t let any mem­ber of the ju­ve­nile jus­tice board to be present when the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was on. I have no idea if it’s nor­mal pro­ce­dure,” the CPO added.

An of­fi­cial spokesper­son for the CBI de­nied the tor­ture claim. An of­fi­cer, who did not wish to be named, said, “CBI doesn’t use such meth­ods on any­one. The boy con­fessed to his crime in front of his fa­ther and a wel­fare of­fi­cer.”

Last Satur­day, a mem­ber of the ju­ve­nile jus­tice board had said the Class 11 stu­dent told them dur­ing a coun­selling ses­sion he knew Prad­hyumn as both of them at­tended the piano class and it was be­cause of that fa­mil­iar­ity that Prad­hyumn had ac­com­pa­nied him to the wash­room on Septem­ber 8. The CBI has said the Class 11 stu­dent slit Prad­hyumn’s throat in the wash­room be­cause he wanted to post­pone the exam and sched­uled par­ent-teacher meet­ing.

The CPO said she got just 15 min­utes with the boy. She will sub­mit her re­port to the ju­ve­nile jus­tice board. The sus­pect’s fa­ther told TOI on Tues­day a “confession” had been ex­tracted from his son by scar­ing and beat­ing him. “Three CBI of­fi­cials thrashed my 16 year-old son. My wife and I have never hit him. With­out any ev­i­dence, he is be­ing kept in de­ten­tion. Ju­ve­nile Jus­tice board mem­bers weren’t al­ways present (when the CBI was in­ter­view­ing him). He was taken in a dif­fer­ent cab. The of­fi­cials told him to say only say what we tell you,” the fa­ther said.

The boy’s par­ents met him on Mon­day. “Since Novem­ber 7, he has not taken a bath. He has been wear­ing the same set of clothes. We went there to give him some clothes. The first thing he said was, ‘Papa, I have not done any­thing’.”

His fa­ther said he would seek the Prime Min­is­ter’s in­ter­ven­tion. “I will take up this mat­ter with every­one, in­clud­ing the PM. CBI has not given me any ev­i­dence of my son’s in­volve­ment. My son had gone to the pri­mary wing’s wash­room be­cause he was on his way to the mu­sic room. While go­ing past the wash­room, he heard a kid vom­it­ing and a slight scream. He only saw blood all around,” he added.

Prad­hyumn was mur­dered in the ground floor wash­room of the school’s Bhondsi cam­pus on Septem­ber 8. Po­lice han­dled the ini­tial probe and ar­rested school bus con­duc­tor Ashok Ku­mar for the killing but the CBI came to a dras­ti­cally dif­fer­ent con­clu­sion, say­ing po­lice had botched up the probe. They de­tained the Class 11stu­dent as the prime sus­pect.

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