The 2,500-page chargesheet submitted in court uses witnesses, fingerprints, CCTV footage and forensics to establish that the juvenile committed the murder.
New Delhi: The class 11 student who allegedly killed a class 2 student inside the washroom of an international school in Gurugram, on 8 September 2017, went home happy and was relieved to see the news of conductor Ashok Kumar’s arrest on television.
Yet, as a precautionary measure, he phoned a friend, who he thought may blow his cover, to convince him to not give any statement to the police, if approached. The friend, however, refused, and the juvenile landed in trouble, the CBI’s investigation into the murder case has revealed.
The detailed chargesheet submitted to court runs into 2,500 pages and has statements from 127 witnesses, reports of the fingerprints bureau, details of CCTV footage accessed from three cameras, 204 pieces of forensic evidence, and detailed reports by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory. The CBI has given a clean chit to bus conductor Ashok Kumar, and has slammed the initial investigation by the Gurugram police.
Here are the key deductions made in the chargesheet:
Juvenile’s hands were wet when he left the washroom
Among the witnesses whose statements have been recorded by CBI, 11 are prime witnesses that include the classmates and other students who knew the juvenile.
A class 12 student in her statement said that she was crossing the entrance to the boys’ toilet on the ground floor when she saw the juvenile coming out, wiping his hands with a handkerchief. She said the juvenile opened the door and turned towards his left, making a gesture to someone she does not know.
Her brother, a class 9 student, who too was going towards the washroom, said that he saw the juvenile coming from the side of the washroom corridor near the water cooler, and they both smiled at each other while crossing paths. He said they casually shook hands and that the juvenile’s hands were wet.
“‘Bholu’ (as the chargesheet refers to the juvenile) had stated that he came out of the washroom immediately after he saw ‘Prince’ (as the chargesheet refers to the victim) soaked in blood. He did not reveal anything about washing his hands (or) using a handkerchief,” the chargesheet says.
He asked five of his friends to arrange for poison
Another class 11 student, a friend of the juvenile, has said that he was asked to get a knife or poison by the juvenile as he intended to kill someone, but he refused to comply.
A class 9 student revealed that the juvenile told him to arrange for poison 4-5 days before the parent-teacher meeting to be held in August, and even offered to pay for it.
Five more classmates of the juvenile have been made witnesses in the case. They said that on 19 August, when they were sitting together on the first bench in the class, the juvenile discussed his plan to mix the poison in the water bottle of some child or in the water tank, and put the blame on another classmate and his brother.
The statements of the students have been recorded before the magistrate and their names have been withheld by ThePrint to protect their identity.
Juvenile’s fingerprint found on the toilet door
When the juvenile was taken into custody, the CBI asked the court for permission to take his fingerprints. They matched with the fingerprints lifted from the scene of crime.
CFSL’s report on fingerprints established that the impression found on the door lock in the toilet in which the victim was murdered is identical with the specimen right thumb impression of the juvenile.
The fingerprints bureau also established that Ashok Kumar’s prints did not match the prints lifted by the Gurugram Police from the scene of the crime.
Juvenile’s cover up
When CBI questioned the juvenile on what he was doing near the washroom on the ground floor, while his class was on the second floor, he told them that his friend had asked him to wait for him near the water cooler.
CBI’s investigation, however, revealed, that the friend referred to here, entered the school main gate at 7:30:08 hours and was then seen on the second floor on CCTV footage. The juvenile was seen entering the school at 7:34:05; by that time, his friend had already reached the class on the second floor.
When CBI questioned the friend, he revealed that the juvenile called him around 4 pm requesting that in case the police contact him, he should say that he had asked the juvenile to wait for him at the water cooler.
When the friend asked what he was actually doing there, the juvenile said he was just kidding around. The friend was summoned by the police for inquiry, and he stated that he neither met the juvenile nor had he asked him to wait for him.
The chargesheet also mentions that the juvenile searched for “how to remove fingerprints” online, but did not pursue it as the links pointed to damaging one’s own hand by charring or putting acid.
The chargesheet mentions that CCTV footage from camera number 5 and 6 installed at the school shows the juvenile entering the main gate. He then takes a turn to the left, towards the water cooler. He is then visible in camera 6 along with the victim at 7:37:34, walking very close to the reception gallery.
Then, after a few seconds, the victim is visible alone in camera 6 entering the washroom gallery at 7:38:03. He is followed by the juvenile 20 seconds later. The juvenile is then seen at camera 5 at 7:39:38 rushing upstairs.
Gurugram Police vs CFSL evidence
The CBI chargesheet states that the Gurugram Police pressured conductor Ashok Kumar to confess.
While the police claimed that Kumar killed the victim and then washed the blood off his hands and clothes at a water cooler outside, the CFSL report of the crime scene establishes that no trace of blood could be found at any taps, drainage pipes inside the washroom, and at the taps located near the water cooler.
According to CBI, the CCTV footage and statements of witnesses too proved that Ashok did not have any blood on either his hands or clothes, before he lifted the victim to take him to the hospital.
The CBI also mentions that Ashok was tortured and beaten up by police officials at Sohna to confess to the murder, and say that he used the knife he kept in the tool box of the school bus to kill the victim, since the child had seen him masturbating in the toilet.
No sexual assault
In the confession recorded by the police, Ashok said that he had opened the “knikker” (sic) of the victim to sexually assault him. However, a nurse who had accompanied the victim to the hospital stated that on the way she removed his socks, shoes and opened his belt and button of the knickers to relax him. This version was also corroborated by Manoj, a conductor who had gone with them, the chargesheet says.
Secondly, the Regional Forensic Science Laboratory established that human semen could not be detected on the underwear or anal swabs of the victim, which established he was not sexually assaulted. No seminal stain either was found at the scene of crime, which once against debunked the police theory.
The court has not yet taken cognisance of CBI’s chargesheet. The next date of hearing is 12 February.
Tanveer Ahmad Mir, the juvenile’s lawyer, said it’s going to be a “hard trial”. He said he hadn’t yet received the chargesheet, and will go through it once the court takes cognisance.
“We are yet to be supplied a copy of the chargesheet. We will have it once charges are framed,” he said. “I understand that the case will primarily rest on circumstantial evidence. It is yet to be seen if the evidence collected by CBI is of good quality or not, which will finally lead to either acquittal or conviction.”
On the other hand, Sushil Tekriwal, lawyer for the victim, said: “The operative part of the chargesheet is very disappointing, although it appears to be meticulous in context of the juvenile. It is disappointing that nothing has been mentioned to take action against the police officials who forced Ashok Kumar to confess or the school management and authorities, despite categorical acknowledgement by the CBI regarding their criminal roles.
“It has been 130 days since the investigation went to the CBI, but it has not yet concluded it. It is clear that the CBI is going slow because of the involvement of mighty people in the case, who need to be exposed in the supplementary chargesheet.”