GURUGRAM: Two days after members of the juvenile justice board said the Class 11 Ryan International School student had admitted to killing Pradhyumn Thakur and even explained how he had done so, he told a child protection officer (CPO) he was being framed and hadn’t killed anyone.
In a separate interaction with TOI on Tuesday, the 16-year-old student’s father accused 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.
The boy is believed to have pleaded his innocence before the CPO at an observation home on Monday. “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.
‘Boy not hurt, confessed before father’
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.