A day after the conductor of school bus was arrested for the brutal murder of a seven-year old student, the principal of Ryan International School was suspended and the district administration ordered a probe by a panel that will give its report by Monday.
The administration also ordered a security audit of all schools in Gurugram while police said they will file a detailed chargesheet in the case that has evoked nationwide concern.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar warned of stern action against the school authorities for any lapses. The CBSE has also formed a panel to inquire the case.
Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar termed the murder an “unfortunate incident” and hoped that justice will be served.
Local residents, including parents of children studying in the school, assembled outside the school on Saturday morning and held protests, demanding strict action against the school management.
Pradhuman, a Class 2 student, was found dead on Friday by a school staffer in the washroom with his throat slit.
Police late on Friday arrested Ashok Kumar, a conductor of one of the school’s buses. The victim’s mother has called for the immediate arrest of the principal.
On Saturday, an angry mob broke the lock of the school’s main gate. The protesters, including Pradhuman’s parents, also demonstrated outside the office of the Commissioner of Police on Sohna Road and demanded the arrest of the “real culprit”.
The district authorities held a press conference in the afternoon which was addressed by Deputy Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh and Gurugram Police Commissioner Sandeep Khairwar.
Singh said a committee has been set up to prepare a comprehensive report about the security lapses in the school. “The report will be submitted by Monday. Further course of action would be taken on the basis of the report.”
He said the committee would also probe whether any prior incident had occurred in the school campus, located some 13 km from Gurugram city on Sohna Road.
Singh said the services of a private security agency hired by the school had been suspended and a security audit will be done of all schools in Gurugram.
Khairwar said they will conduct a thorough investigation and file a detailed chargesheet within seven days.
“We are on the job fully and will complete documentation of scientific, forensic and technical evidences.”
He said the school management has ordered suspension of the school’s acting principal.
Khattar termed the incident a very heinous crime and said the state government will soon issue a circular to instruct all schools in the state to tighten security measures.
“The administration has nabbed the suspect. I have directed the authorities to complete investigations within seven days. I would also request the court to punish the perpetrator as earliest as possible,” he said.
Khattar ruled out a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation. “There is no question of CBI probe in this matter as Haryana Police have successfully nabbed the perpetrator and he has accepted him crime.”
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), to which the school is affiliated, formed a two-member committee to inquire into the case. It also asked the school to submit a report within two days.
Earlier in the day, a Gurugram court sent the accused in the murder to a three-day police remand.
The boy’s family resides in Maruti Kunj Society in the same area. Pradhuman’s father is a senior executive with an export house in the Kherki Daula area. The victim’s sister is a Class 5 student in the same school
In the evening, locals held a candle light march over the murder of the student.
Haryana Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said that careless educational institutes like Ryan International School, Gurugram, would not be spared.
“Stern action would be taken against the guilty. The administration is working closely to solve the murder mystery of Pradyuman,” Sharma told media in Chandigarh.
“The district administration (Gurugram) is actively engaged in solving the case. I will myself visit Gurugram on Sunday,” the Minister said.
“The school management should look at the behavior of the driver and the conductor and the buses in which children arrive should be safeguarded,” he added.