New Delhi, Nov 8: In a dramatic twist to the murder of a Class 2 student of Ryan International School in Gurugram, the CBI on Wednesday said the horrific crime was committed by a 16-year-old student of the same school who wanted to delay upcoming exams.
CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said the Class 11 student was detained on Tuesday night as the prime suspect in the September 8 murder of Pradyuman Thakur that earlier led to the arrest of a school bus conductor who Haryana Police claimed had committed the murder.
The CBI said the fresh development came after "inspection of the crime spot, scrutiny of CCTV footage, call records, statements and questioning of several people" that revealed the suspect had carried a knife to the school on that day and used it to kill his junior school mate.
"The weapon used in the commission of the crime is a knife which was recovered initially by police in Gurugram (Haryana). It is now with us," Dayal told reporters here.
Dayal said the detained student was weak in studies and "wanted to have examinations and a Parent-Teacher Meeting postponed". Pradhuman, 7, was his random target.
The officer said the prime suspect was interrogated mainly on the basis of CCTV footage, which showed him coming out of the school bathroom where Pradhuman's body was found with his throat slit -- a crime that generated shock and revulsion.
The father of the Class 11 student, whose name is being withheld, said his son was being framed.
He said his son was taken in for questioning by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) a day earlier. "The CBI told me that my son was being held because he had murdered Pradhuman," he told the media in Gurugram.
"We have been cooperating with the police from day one. The CBI questioned him repeatedly and we cooperated," he said.
The CBI said the parents of the detained student were kept informed throughout the probe.
The CBI took over the case on September 22 from Haryana Police, nearly two weeks after the Class 2 boy was found dead.
The accused was produced before the Juvenile Justice Board in Gurugram to decide whether he is to be treated as a major or a minor as per the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
The CBI wants custody of the Class 11 student. "After that, he will be further interrogated about the murder weapon, the planning of the crime and its motive."
The Haryana Police had earlier claimed that Pradhuman was killed by school bus conductor Ashok Kumar inside the toilet as the boy resisted a bid to sodomise him.
While Ashok Kumar was arrested and is still in custody, Pradhuman's parents and two other staffers have maintained that the conductor was being made a scapegoat and that someone else committed the crime.