NEW DELHI: Bus conductor Ashok Kumar stands accused of killing seven-year-old Pradyuman by slashing his throat, but the police are fingering Ryan International School, Gurgaon, for the culprit.
They accuse the school management of multiple lapses in student security like flouting regulations in hiring school buses, employing staff without police verification, allowing unauthorised persons unrestricted access to the school and omitting to repair broken-down CCTVs.
According to the sources, the school buses were leased not by the school, but through a third party supplier without the necessary documentation as prescribed by CBSE for its affiliated schools.
Officially, conductors, drivers and other outsiders are not allowed to use the toilets on the school premises but the accused managed to get in.
School buses plied without sufficient school staff on board to monitor the behaviour of the bus drivers and conductors. Cops claim that Ryan International did not get Ashok Kumar’s police verification done even though he had been in his job for seven months.
School authorities had no personal details of the accused like his address and place of birth in their possession.
The school had no proper security personnel in place either, to frisk and check staff and outsiders at the gate—the reason why the killer could enter the school with a knife. Cops have discovered that CCTVs installed in the area where the murder occurred were not working properly.
Hence, they are struggling to obtain the technological evidence needed to get a conviction. The two-member team constituted by the Haryana government to probe lapses of the school management will submit its report on Monday.
The police said that Kumar admitted that he and other members of the school bus staff were prohibited from using the school washrooms; however, the absence of security personnel and teachers made it easy for them to use the facilities.
“I have been using the toilet since last 7-8 months,’ the accused said in his statement.
“The school did not carry out proper documentation procedures while hiring buses and their staff. Kumar’s police verification was not done since the school had hired a third party, which used to supply buses and staff. There are no proper verification papers or identity cards for them,” a Gurgaon Police official investigating the case said.
CBSE has a prescribed procedure in place regarding bus safety and hiring norms. CBSE had also sent a circular on the issue last October, mandating that a lady attendant should be available on each school bus to help the kids board and de-board with the help of the conductor. responsibility missing
Since a schoolboy drowned in a water tank of Ryan International School, Vasant Kunj, last year, a circular was issued by the school administration to define the responsibilities of staff overlooking various aspects such as security and cleaning.
According to the circular, the principal was the overall in-charge. This circular had helped the Delhi Police to fix the responsibility on the school management for the drowning.
The principal and some teachers of the school were arrested for negligence by the school administration. However, in Pradyuman’s case, the Gurgaon Police found the responsibility chart missing. Attempts to reach out to the official spokesperson of Ryan International School, Neeti Srinivasan, yielded no results.
The school had no equipment or procedures to frisk and check outsiders and staff entering the school, which helped Ashok to carry his knife in.
CCTVs installed in the toilet area were not working properly.
Bus staff were hired without proper documentation as no police verification of the accused were found
Security staff deployed outside the toilet was missing.
CBSE Guidelines for Safety And Manpower in the Bus.
Each school should designate a Transport Manager. The name and contact details of the person should be prominently displayed at the school.
Provision must be made by the school for at least one well-trained lady attendant in each school bus to help school children.
While hiring buses, school authorities shall enter into a ‘valid agreement’ with the owner/transporter. The driver must carry the copy of the agreement in the bus.