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Ryan International student murder: Temporary reprieve for school trustees, court grants interim protection from arrest till Wednesday

Gurgaon Police Commissioner Sandeep Khirwar said that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case believes that evidence in the case was tampered with

Edited by: India TV News Desk, Gurugram [Updated:12 Sep 2017, 12:06 PM IST]
Ryan student murder: Police say evidence ‘tampered’ with
Ryan student murder: Police say evidence ‘tampered’ withPhoto:PTI

Trustees of Ryan International school that is caught in a row following the brutal murder of a 7-year-old child in the school premises, got temporary relief from the Bombay High Court which granted chairman Augustine and Managing Director Grace Pinto interim protection from arrest till Wednesday.

The Ryan Internation trustees had moved the Bombay High Court on Monday seeking early hearing on their transit anticipatpory bail application. The High Court will now hear their plea tomorrow.

In the petition submitted to the court on Monday, 73-year-old Augustine Pinto and 62-year-old Grace Pinto said that they feared getting arrested even before they can reach Haryana, which is where they must formally seek anticipatory bail.

The two are trustees of the Saint Xavier's Education Trust, which runs Ryan International Schools.

Meanwhile, the Gurgaon police, which on Monday arrested two top functionaries of Ryan International School in connection with the brutal murder of a 7-year-old child in the school premises, said that there was an attempt to destroy evidence in the case. 

The police arrested Francis Thomas, legal head and Jeyus Thomas, HR Head of the Ryan International School group, who were produced in a Sohna court which remanded them to two days in police custody. 

Gurgaon Police Commissioner Sandeep Khirwar said that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case believes that evidence in the case was tampered with. 

Also Read: Ryan student murder: 2 top school officials held, CEO moves HC for pre-arrest bail; SC notice to Centre, Haryana govt on CBI probe

"The SIT said in the Sohna court that destruction of evidence was found to have been done. Attempt was made to wash away the blood stains from the spot where the child was found murdered. The blood on his water bottle and bag was also found rubbed. Some other pieces of evidence were also tampered with," Khirwar said. 

We will add appropriate sections against the school management or other staff, whoever is found to be involved, at the time of submission of the charge sheet, Khirwar said. 

"A team was sent to Mumbai to the Ryan headquarters for questioning the top officials including the head and directors so that we can look at their roles and responsibility regarding the school in Gurgaon, he said. 

Asked about the post-mortem findings, he said that these details could not shared at the moment.

Exclusive Video: India TV enters Gurugram's Ryan School bathroom where Pradhyumn was killed; here’s what it found

"Some other security lapses also emerged. We have already taken action under the Juvenile Justice Act against the school and arrested their two top officers and are interrogating other staff members including suspended Principal Neerja Batra," Khirwar added. 

More arrests will be carried out as per the evidence that emerges, he said. The police teams will again question the bus driver and school gardener, he added. 

Haryana Police Additional Directorate General of Police Law and Order, Mohammad Akil has also visited the scene of the crime. We will not spare any person found involved, irrespective of his or her position, he said. 

"We will add Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and other sections on the basis of SIT report. As per our investigation and evidence before us, we have found Ashok Kumar, the school bus conductor is guilty in this murder," Akil said. 

Ryan student murder: Bus driver says conductor confessed to crime under pressure | Video Inside

The police also added section 34 (common intention) of the IPC in the murder case against the two officers of school, officials said. 

The prosecution counsels demanded the addition of section 201 of the IPC (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender). The police told the court that the school authorities tampered with the evidence at the crime spot. 

Meanwhile, there were also allegations that the school management had not carried out a proper verification of the conductor and his Aadhaar card was obtained from his house in Ghamroj village hours after the crime to maintain records. 

Amir Chand, the father of accused alleged that his son was a soft target and hence the school was framing him. "Why did the school take his Aadhaar card six hours after the crime?" Chand asked.  

(With PTI inputs)