New Delhi: As the arrest of a Class 11 student took a sensational turn today to the murder of seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur at the Ryan International School near Delhi in September, parallels have arisen with the murder case of Aarushi Talwar, that also a dramatic 180-degree turn after the CBI took over.
Pradyuman, a Class 2 student, was found with his throat cut out of a bathroom near his classroom on September 8, shortly after his father left him.
On the same day, the Gurgaon police arrested school bus driver Ashok Kumar, alleging that he had killed the child after attempting to sexually assault him. The CBI has overturned the theory with its conclusion that the student of Class 11 committed the murder because he wanted his exams to be canceled.
A similar difference in the findings marked the investigation into the murder of Aarushi Talwar, 13, and her domestic help in a department of Noida in 2008. Days after the murders, Noida police arrested Aarushi’s father, Rajesh Talwar. . When the CBI took over, three domestic help from the neighborhood were arrested.
There are allegations in both cases that the crucial evidence was lost or spoiled at critical moments just after the murders were discovered.
In the Aarushi case, the police could not detect a second body on the terrace for a full day. During the day, the house had visitors walking through all the tests, and important details such as a closed terrace door and blood stains were lost.
Pradyuman’s family has alleged similar negligence. “The crime scene was cleared, the bloodstains were eliminated,” the family’s attorney said, citing a “bigger conspiracy.”
Police cited images from security cameras to claim that the bus driver was the killer, a claim that the family never believed.
The video shows the bus driver entering the bathroom and leaving before the child. The CBI says that the CCTV footage was only part of the available video, and the extended video shows five people outside the bathroom, including the student who was detained. Apparently, the police focused only on the driver, a severe lapse.
The pressure to show results seems to have prompted the first arrests in both cases. Rajesh Talwar was arrested a week after the murder. Amid a spiral of indignation and a commotion for a school murder, the Gurgaon police also announced an arrest on the same night.
In both cases, however, the evidence was scant and there was nothing to prove beyond doubt who was guilty.
The student’s father has stated that his son is being framed, that there were no bloodstains on his clothes.
In the Aarushi-Hemraj case, the Talwars were accused of washing bloodstains to cover up. That charge was rejected by a court that acquitted Aarushi’s parents last month.