A Gurugram court on Wednesday sent Class XI student of Ryan International School, arrested in connection with the murder of his schoolmate Pradyuman Thakur, to three-day CBI custody.
The student was produced before the Juvenile Justice Board, Gurugram today, after the CBI sought six-day custody of the student.
Meanwhile, Pradyuman’s parents have demanded that the juvenile student should be tried as an adult and given the harshest punishment.
"We demand strict punishment for him, he should be tried as an adult and hanged," said Sushil Tekriwal, lawyer representing Pradyumn's family, at a press briefing.
"The age of the arrested student falls in the category of 16 to 18. Therefore, there is an option with the board to try him as an adult. We demand strict punishment for him, and we'll ensure he is tried as an adult and is hanged till death," Sushil Tekriwal, advocate of Pradyuman's family, said during a press conference here.
The CBI had arrested the 16-year-old Ryan International student late on Tuesday night for allegedly killing Pradhyumn inside a toilet in the school premises on September 8. According to the agency, the high school boy had planned the murder to get the school to declare a holiday in order to postpone a scheduled parent-teacher meeting and an examination.
Sources in the agency said the crime was committed in just three to four minutes.
The CBI has not found any evidence so far against bus conductor Ashok Kumar, who was the Gurgaon Police's sole accused in the gruesome killing, CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said.
Pradyuman’s family had claimed that he was being made into a scapegoat by the authorities.
Pradyuman’s father Varun Thakur also reiterated his belief that there was a larger conspiracy behind his son's murder, which had led to the framing of the bus conductor to shield the real culprits.
"We still believe there was a larger conspiracy. The CBI has not yet given a clean chit to the Pinto family," said Tekriwal, referring to the Pinto family, which owns Ryan Group of Institutions.
The family accused the local police of botching up the investigation and said the Central Bureau of Investigation meticulously collected circumstantial evidences and facts.
The CBI was able to piece together elements of the crime by analysing CCTV footage, scientific and forensic examination, analysis of the crime scene and by questioning students, teachers and staff of the school.
Based on CCTV footage and crime scene analysis, the agency examined all potential suspects and witnesses. The list included 125 teachers and students, sources said.
Ryan Pinto, owner of the Ryan International School chain, is yet to be questioned in the case.
"The probe is still on. The first task was to identify the killer. It was a tough case. By the time the case was given to us, many persons were allowed to use the bathroom. We are questioning the teenager only between 10 am to 5 pm as per JJ Act provisions," said an official.
The mobile records of all the suspects were scrutinised and examined by the CBI's special crime team.
Although the Class 11 student had planned a killing on September 8, the "child in conflict with law" had not identified his target, Dayal said.
It was a coincidence that Pradyuman reached the toilet and became a victim of senior student's ghastly plan, sources added.
The father of the high school student told a television channel that his son was innocent and they had been cooperating with the police from day one.
"My son didn't do anything. He informed the gardener and teachers after finding Pradyuman's body. He stayed in the school the entire day, and appeared for the exam. There was not even a single spot of blood on my son's clothes," the father said, his face pixellated to avoid identification.
Giving details, he said yesterday was the fourth time they were called.
"I reached there around 11 am... I left from there at 2 a.m. and CCTV footage can be seen for that," he said. The CBI's findings will be a major embarrassment for the Gurgaon Police, which had blamed Ashok Kumar and alleged that he was waiting in the toilet with a knife.
The police had formed 14 SIT teams.
Kumar, a resident of Ghamdoj village in Sohna, was hired by a school bus contractor around seven months before the killing.
Villagers in Ghamdoj had said Kumar had been framed and he had no previous history of being involved in any crime.
"Now that they have arrested this student, it is proof that the doubt we had about the police investigation was right," Pradyuman's father Varun Thakur told the media.