Sources say there is reason to believe the teen was a suspect even before Gurgaon police handed over the case to the CBI on September 22. In CCTV footage that was sent for “scientific analysis” after the police dubbed it as too unclear, the student is the last to leave the toilet where Pradyuman’s throat was slit. He allegedly told a teacher that he saw Pradyuman “vomiting blood”.
The role of another student who was with the accused teen when he informed a gardener and a teacher about the child’s blood-soaked body is also being investigated, sources say.
“The CBI is verifying how the second boy came to know. It is part of trying to establish the sequence of events,” sources say.
But evidence against the arrested student is not strong so far, sources say.
The owner of the knife shop where he allegedly bought the murder weapon did not confirm selling it to the boy.
The shop owner reportedly told investigators he “does not remember who he sold the knife to”.
The detained student will also be taken to the school as investigators try to reconstruct the crime.
The CBI has told a Juvenile Court that the teen confessed to the crime in the presence of his father, independent witnesses and a social welfare board member. The motive, apparently, was to delay an exam.
The Haryana police had produced the student in court not as a suspect but as a witness.
On September 8, Pradyuman, a Class 2 student, was found with his throat slashed some 15 minutes after he and his older sister were dropped off by their father in the morning.
Seven hours later, the police declared that the killer was schoolbus conductor Ashok Kumar – seen on security video – and he murdered Pradyuman after trying to sexually assault him. The police had claimed that they recovered the knife from him, but CBI sources say a knife could have been planted.
Ashok Kumar, who has been in jail since then, has applied for bail.