Credibility of investigating agencies

Pradyuman Thakur, a seven-year-old student at the Ryan International School at Gurgaon, was found killed in the toilet of the school, with his throat slit on September 8. The Haryana police arrested the conductor of the school bus on suspicion. Later, the Haryana police said the conductor had committed the murder and the knife, the weapon used in the crime had been recovered. As there were many discrepancies in the Haryana police’s version, the case was handed over to the CBI. Now the CBI has come out with a sensational report that the conductor was innocent, and that it was another, senior, student of the school who had killed Pradyuman for delaying the holding of exams in the school. The CBI alleges that the conductor’s confessional was extracted by the Haryana police by torturing him. The conductor’s family has also confirmed torture. Visuals in TV also showed the conductor limping, leaning on two Haryana policemen.
The Haryana police are under the Haryana Government. The CBI is under the Central Government. But both governments are run by the same party – the BJP. Then how is it that the Haryana police and the CBI have taken such a totally contradictory stand on the case, with the CBI accusing the Haryana police of nabbing the wrong man? The blood in the toilet was mopped immediately after the murder was discovered, thus destroying valuable evidence. Why have not the Ryan school authorities proceeded against under relevant sections of the IPC for destroying evidence? Is it credible that a student murdered another fellow student, merely to get exams postponed? Meanwhile, it has been alleged that the owners of the school have high political connections and that they wield considerable political clout. The whole case is being deliberately goofed up so that eventually the real culprit or culprits escape and, as happened in the Arusi Talwar case, the court is forced to come to the conclusion that the murder was committed by unknown persons.
Many other questions have also cropped up like why the Haryana police tried to pin the guilt on the conductor and tortured him to get a confessional. Nobody knows whose version should be believed – the CBI’s or the Haryana police’s. But the upshot of the whole controversy is that the people’s faith in the impartiality and objectivity of investigating agencies – whether of the Centre and the State – has been greatly eroded. The courts have to go by the evidence produced before them. If the police inquiry is flawed, justice can never be done.

Thursday, 9 November, 2017