The grief-stricken father of seven-year-old Pradyuman, who was done to death on September 8 inside Ryan International School near here, says prime suspect bus conductor Ashok Kumar could not have executed the crime alone and that some others were involved in it.
Hailing from Madhubani district of Bihar, Barun Chandra Thakur has been fighting hard for getting justice to his deceased son.
Talking to IANS, Thakur claimed there was more to what meets the eye. Given the sequence of events, the killing of his child appeared to be part of a well-hatched conspiracy, he said.
"It looks like everything had been planned in advance. The killer already had a knife ... he visited the children's toilet which he shouldn't have... he threw the weapon used in crime there itself....
"How come he was moving around in the school premises with such a large knife? Then, the grille of the bathroom window was also found to have been cut... and now the conductor is giving contradicting statements. Don't all these point to a conspiracy," he wondered.
Thakur further said: "If the conductor was scared that he had been seen indulging in an illicit act by the boy and everybody would come to know about it, didn't he think about the consequences of committing a murder? Didn't he think that he could be hanged for this? Also, if Ashok Kumar is the killer, then why didn't he flee after killing Pradyuman?"
Asked if the murder could be an act of revenge killing, he ruled out the possibility, saying he did not have any enmity as such.
Following the incident, several employees of the school are on the police radar, including Anju Dudeja, the incharge of junior section of the school. However, Thakur did not speak much against her, other than that even her role in the whole affair was not satisfactory.
On the possible involvement of others in the incident, he said: "I am sure that some more persons are involved (in the killing). As we saw the school was trying to sweep the matter under the carpet and even police were dilly-dallying, we decided to approach the Supreme Court."
Blaming the school authorities' casual approach towards safety of children for the tragedy, Thakur said: "I would drop my son at the school everyday. How on earth I could have even thought that one day he would be murdered in his school!"
Despite being emotionally torn due to the killing of his son, he is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that not only Pradyuman gets justice but also that no other child undergoes what his child had to. He wants a much harsher law to ward off any possibility of recurrence of such incidents.
"There is a need to replace the age-old rusted laws with new, more stringent ones, so that those with criminal mindset think twice before committing a crime. Besides, there is also an urgent need to prepare a much tougher guideline for the schools, so that school managements are not able to shrug off their responsibilities."
Thakur does not want a new law to be named after his son; all he wants is that children across the country feel safe at least in the "temples of education".
(Ritu Tomar can be reached at email@example.com)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)