Ryan School bus conductor Ashok Kumar, earlier the prime accused in the murder Pradyuman Thakur, was released from jail on Wednesday, a day after a Gurugram-based district court granted him bail, media reports said.
— ANI (@ANI) November 22, 2017
Ashok was granted bail by the court against a bond of Rs 50,000, which was reportedly crowd-funded from his village. According to The Times of India, people from Ghamroj village—where Ashok lived with his family—believed he was innocent and had been pooling in money since the time of his arrest. With Ashok's release, there is also a likelihood of him filing a defamation case against the police officers who tried to 'frame' him.
After Tuesday's bail order, Ashok's father Amichand expressed happiness but claimed that his son was ill-treated by the Gurugram police. "We are poor people that's why no one was listening to us," he was quoted as saying by India Today.
Despite Ashok's release, he has not been given a clean chit in the murder case by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The investigating agency has, however, not found any clinching evidence against him, and is now probing the role of Class XI student who was arrested on 8 November after confessing that he committed the crime.
According to the CBI's findings, the student killed Pradyuman to postpone a parent-teacher meeting and a scheduled examination on the fateful day.
Following the teenager's arrest, Ashok's father had said that they would file a case against the SIT officers "who tortured and framed" his son, even drugging him to make him confess committing the murder before the media.
Before CBI took over the probe, the Haryana Police had claimed that Pradyuman was murdered by the bus conductor after he failed to sodomise the boy.
Ashok's lawyer moved the court on 16 November to seek bail.
The CBI was asked to submit the status report of the case in the court after arguments by all parties on Monday, and the judge had kept the decision reserved for Tuesday.
Verma had said that Ashok was granted bail under Article 21 that ensures right to life and liberty to every citizen. "There was major conflict between theories of the CBI and the Haryana Police and Ashok was granted bail on the ground of benefit of doubt," he had said.
Verma also added that the court's decision merely proved that Ashok was being falsely implicated to shield the real culprit.
Meanwhile, the CBI is also investigating Ashok's uncle OP Chopra's intentions behind the interaction with the accused student's family.
The investigating agency summoned Chopra on Tuesday after it obtained audio clips in which he is heard saying: "We will put it on the school authorities. Let the situation mellow down." The audio clips went viral on the social media.
The audio clip also recorded Chopra's conversation with a relative of the Class XI student, in which he is heard saying: "Let me get my nephew released first, after that we will find a way for you and put the whole blame on the school authorities."
Chopra was grilled by the investigators for over four hours on Tuesday, during which he admitted that he had a conversation with the juvenile accused's family only to console them, India Today reported.
With inputs from agencies
Published Date: Nov 22, 2017 21:15 PM | Updated Date: Nov 22, 2017 21:18 PM