We witnessed a brutal and unspeakable murder of a seven-year-old boy, Pradyuman Thakur on 8th September in Ryan International School, Gurgaon. Someone had slit his throat twice and had left him to die in the washroom of the school. To be specific, an 18 x 2 cm cut from his neck to his ear was the cause of his death. According to the postmortem report, the boy could not have survived for more than 2 to 3 minutes after sustaining such a gruesome injury. The footage from the security camera outside the washroom shows Pradyuman crawling out of the washroom with blood pouring out of his neck and collapsing near a wall.
Ryan International group owns around 135 schools spread all across the country and this incident has raised numerous questions about the safety of kids in these schools. This group is also facing allegations that they are siphoning-off funds to shell companies. In light of all these allegations and concern, the school has been taken over by the Gurgaon administration for the next three months. Additionally, a committee set up by The Central Board of Secondary Education has found many violations of safety guidelines in the school. For example, they found that the school had not provided a separate washroom for the non-teaching staff and the washroom windows did not have grills for safety. They also found that most of the CCTV cameras that were installed on the premises of the school were not working. There are strong suggestions that CBSE should revoke the school’s affiliation.
CBSE too has taken steps to prevent such incidents from happening again. All the schools across the country affiliated with CBSE will need to get a police verification and also agree to have all their staff go through a psychometric test. The Union Minister, Menaka Gandhi has suggested many measures to prevent such incidents from ever happening again. One of her suggestions was to have female bus drives for school buses.
The bus conductor, Ashok has been arrested for this crime. According to the security footage, he was inside the washroom when Pradyuman went in. Although he confessed to the crime, he later claimed that he had confessed under duress and was forced to do so by the police.
Due to this incident, the school had remained closed for almost 10 days and when it reopened, not many students attended. Parents do not feel safe sending their children to this school and hence are looking for other schools for their kids. However, allegations raised by the family of the victim have led to the school being closed till 25th September.We hope our justice system finds the person responsible for this brutal act of violence. Also, this is a wake-up call for all the schools in India to increase their safety measures and protect the students. Such kinds of acts against kids are unacceptable and the people responsible should be brought to justice.