Ryan murder: Bus conductor released from jail

Gurugram: Ryan International School bus conductor Ashok Kumar, arrested on September 8 on charges of murdering class 2 student Pradhuman Thakur, was on Wednesday released from jail and returned home after 76 days in custody after the CBI found who was behind the crime.

“I am thankful to God for delivering justice to me,” he told media after being released.

His family said that it was a great reliefas their innocent family member is back home.

“Haryana Police forced him to confess to the crime by using third degree force on him.. they also drugged him,” said a family member.

His bail orders were provided by lawyers to the jail authority after 3 p.m. on Wednesday and after completing formalities, Kumar was released from the jail late in the evening.

“After examination of the legal papers, Kumar was released around 8 p.m.,” a senior jail official told IANS.

Prominent persons from his Ghamroj village near Sohna were present the whole day at Bhondsi jail to welcome Kumar when he walked out.

The 42-year-old Kumar was arrested on the same day that seven-year-old Pradhuman’s body was found in the washroom of school with throat slit.

The Haryana Police had claimed that the child was murdered by the bus conductor allegedly after he failed to sodomise the boy.

However, two school employees — bus driver Saurav Raghav and gardener Harpal as well as Kumar’s father Amichand had alleged that he was being made a scapegoat in the child’s murder since he is poor. Amichand said his son was drugged and brutally tortured by police to own up the crime.

The state police claim was being questioned right from the very beginning – and more so after the case was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation. The agency had, on November 8, taken a Class 11 student of the same school in custody for the murder. As per the agency, the senior student killed his junior just to postpone a parent-teacher meeting and unit test that day.

Although the CBI has not granted clean chit to the bus conductor, it has also not found any clinching evidence against him.

A court on Tuesday had granted bail to Ashok Kumar after his lawyer Mohit Verma filed an application on November 16.

Additional District and Session Judge Rajni Yadav granted him bail on Rs 50,000 bond.

The CBI was asked to submit the status report in the court after arguments by all parties on November 20, and the judge had reserved the decision for Tuesday.

“There was no proof against Kumar and the court granted bail under Article 21 that ensures right to life and liberty to every citizen. There was major conflict between theories of the CBI and the Haryana Police and he was granted bail on the ground of benefit of doubt,” said Verma, adding the decision proved that police probe was shielding the real culprit and Kumar was implicated in the crime.