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Chilling murder of 7-yr-old in Gurugram puts a question mark on safety in schools

Priyata Brajabasi | Updated on: 9 September 2017, 1:03 IST

In a tragic incident, a seven-year-old student was found dead with his throat slit inside a toilet at Ryan International School in Gurugram, Haryana.

The shocking murder only serves to underline one question parents have asked for time immemorial: how safe are children at schools?

Late Friday the Gurgaon Police claimed that Class 2 student at the Sohna Road school was murdered by one of the conductor of the school buses who tried to sexually assault him. Earlier three people were have been detained for questioning in connection with the case - a bus driver, a bus conductor and a school staffer.

The boy was found bleeding profusely in a toilet by a school supervisor at around 8.45 am on Friday. A knife was found next to him, reports ANI.

The child's father Varun Thakur, who dropped Pradhuman and his sister Vidhi to school not long before the boy was found dead, has laid the blame on the school administration for the murder of the child.

“I dropped him on time around 7:55 am. He was happy," the grieving father told reporters. “I received a phone call around 9 am when I reached home. How can a parent know what happens to their child in school? He could have been saved if he had been brought to the hospital in time.”

"They told me my son is bleeding, he was found outside the washroom and they are taking him to the hospital, they asked me to come too. I rushed, but he was dead by the time I reached," Thakur said.

Uneasy parents


As the news of the death of the child spread, hundreds of worried parents barged into the school building, flung furniture around and shattered glass cabinets and windows. Eventually, the police controlled the situation.

A large number of police officers are questioning school staff, teachers and Pradyuman's classmates. A Gurgaon Police spokesperson told reporters, "We are investigating the case from all angles - homicide, enmity and others. The police team is examining the CCTV footage from over 30 cameras installed on the school premises."

Pradhuman’s body has been taken for a postmortem.

This is not the first time Ryan International School has found itself in the middle of a controversy regarding the safety of students. Last year, a branch of the same school in Vasant Kunj was accused of criminal negligence after a Class 1 was found dead in a water tank.

The six-year-old’s father had alleged that his son had been sodomised before his death. The magisterial inquiry into the death of Divyansh has pointed out serious lapses and deliberate inaction by school authorities in the case. The principal of the school, Sandhya Sabu, and four others were arrested on charges of causing death due to negligence. All five were later granted bail by a court.

The school authorities in the case did not take any responsibility of the child’s death and instead claimed that Divyansh was a "hyperactive" child who had "tendency" of running away from the classroom. No conviction has been made in the case yet.

In 2015, many parents had complained against the Ryan International School management for urging parents and teachers to enroll with the BJP. While the school management claimed the BJP membership drive was voluntary, teachers and student claimed that it was not - in fact, some teachers even claimed their salary had been held back pending their joining the party.

First published: 8 September 2017, 19:25 IST
Priyata Brajabasi @PriyataB

Priyata thinks in words and delivers in pictures. The marriage of the two, she believes, is of utmost importance. Priyata joined the Catch team after working at Barcroft Media as a picture desk editor. Prior to that she was on the Output Desk of NDTV 24X7. At work Priyata is all about the news. Outside of it, she can't stay far enough. She immerses herself in stories through films, books and television shows. Oh, and she can eat. Like really.