New Delhi: Ashok Kumar, the bus conductor who was arrested in the Ryan International School murder case and released on bail on Wednesday (November 22), has alleged that he was tortured and forced to confess by the Gurugram police while in custody.
According to a report in The Hindu, the 42 year old has said that he was beaten, hung upside down and given electric shocks to force him to confess to the murder of seven-year-old Pradhyuman Thakur. “They gave me electric shocks to extort a confession. They also used to give me an injection saying it will help me bear the pain and sleep,” the newspaper quoted Kumar as saying. He also said that he was in a semi-conscious state the entire time he was in custody, so cannot remember when exactly he was given the injections. Kumar has been running a high fever for a week now and is suffering from severe body and chest pain, the newspaper reported.
According to the Indian Express, Kumar has also said that he was not given food regularly while in custody. After going hungry for two days, Kumar says he begged for food. A police officer did get him food, but only after kicking him in the stomach, Kumar alleged. According to him, things improved after he was moved from police custody to jail. “People in jail believed I was innocent, and the policemen also did not trouble me,” he told Indian Express on Thursday.
Kumar also talked about the events on September 8, when Thakur was killed in a ground floor bathroom on school premises.
“I left home at 5:30 am for duty, and reached the school at 6:10 am. Then, I did a round on the bus… I only found out about the murder after the gardener called me, claiming that one of the teachers had asked for me,” he claimed. He said he then rushed to the bathroom where the murder occurred. “The boy was lying in the bathroom’s corridor. Teachers told me he had injured his head and had to be carried to the car, so he could be transported to the hospital,” Indian Express quoted Kumar as saying. “Police came after 30 minutes and they all went into the principal’s office. Later, they called me in. One of the officers took me into the principal’s bathroom, where he asked me why I killed the boy.” Even as he denied having anything to do with the child’s death, the police took him to the police station, he said.
Kumar was released on bail after a CBI investigation exonerated him, instead accusing a senior student of the school (a minor) of the crime. The CBI also ruled out the sexual assault angle being played up by the police.
Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the allegations levelled against the Haryana police were being investigated. “The matter is being investigated and action will be taken against the guilty,” Khattar said in Ambala.
Sandeep Khirwar, commissioner of police, told Indian Express, “We will take appropriate action in the matter at the appropriate juncture.”
(With PTI inputs)