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Gurgaon's Ryan School Reopens With Heightened Safety Measures

Gurgaon’s Ryan International School, which opened last Monday, 10 days after a student’s murder, but was told to shut down again for a week, has reopened today. Seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur was found murdered in one of its toilets on September 8. The school has remained closed since. The Haryana government took over the administration of the school last Monday while the state police said that the school couldn’t begin operations before its security gaps were plugged.

The school authorities have now installed additional 40 CCTV cameras, and a new security agency has been given the task to safeguard the premises. There will be a different entry and separate lavatories for non-teaching staff.

The administration has assured parents on safety measures, but they remain concerned. “People have lost faith,” one parent said.

Last week, when the school reopened to a thin attendance, students refused to attend classes or enter the toilet where the gruesome murder took place. “Security and facilities at Ryan today were no different from the dreadful September 8, nothing has changed since,” a parent had told NDTV.

Pradyuman was found outside the toilet, his throat slit, moments after his father had dropped him off to school. The CCTV camera footage captured the Class 2 student’s ordeal as he crawled out of the toilet before collapsing in a pool of blood. A bus conductor of the school, Ashok Kumar, was arrested for the murder. The police say the man has confessed to killing Pradyuman after attempting sexual assault. 

The Central Bureau of Investigation is now in charge of the case after Pradyuman’s father, Varun Thakur, threatened to approach the Supreme Court if the agency did not start its investigation at the earliest.

A three-member CBI team along with forensic experts investigated the school premises for over seven hours on Saturday. The forensic team collected finger-print samples, footprints, videographed and clicked pictures of the crime spot. Later, they sealed the crime spot. Three people — the prime suspect, Ashok Kumar and two members of the school staff –were taken into custody.

After Pradyuman’s murder, a three-member Special Investigation Team had revealed shocking lapses in the security arrangement. The bus drivers and conductors besides the school staff share toilet facilities with students and the boundary wall of the school was found to be broken, which meant easy access to outsiders, their report had said.