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SC issues notices to Centre, Haryana on CBI probe for Ryan student’s murder

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Apex court to also examine, suo moto, issue of safety measures for students studying in private schools

The Supreme Court, on Monday, admitted a plea filed by Varun Thakur – father of seven-year-old Pradyuman who was found dead in Gurgaon’s Ryan International School last week – requesting a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation or a special investigation team (SIT) into the murder of his son. The court has issued notices to the Centre, CBI and the Haryana government and sought their replies on Varun’s plea within three weeks.

The apex court has also, of its own accord, decided to examine whether private schools were implementing guidelines for ensuring safety of their students. The court has, however, clarified that it wouyld examine safety measures adopted by all private schools and not just the Gurgaon-branch of Ryan International School.

The apex court’s decision comes in the wake of the mysterious murder of Pradyuman Thakur, a class 2 student at Gurgaon’s Ryan International School, who was found dead – with his throat slit – in the washroom of the school on September 8. Late evening on September 8, the Gurgaon police had arrested Ashok Kumar, a bus conductor at the school and claimed that he confessed to the murder.

Ashok Kumar, bus conductor at Ryan International School, Gurgaon, has been arrested for the murder and has reportedly confessed to the crime

Ashok, who was remanded to three days in police custody on Saturday, reportedly told the cops that he had accosted Pradyuman in the school’s washroom and tried to sexually molest him. However, when Pradyuman resisted the attempt and tried to raise an alarm, Ashok confessed that he took out a knife from his pocket and stabbed the child twice in his neck. As Pradyuman lay on the floor, bleeding profusely from his mortal wounds, Ashok reportedly washed the murder weapon, threw it on the boy’s body and walked away.

However, the child’s parents – Varun and Jyoti Thakur – have alleged that the arrest was a frame-up and have blamed the school management of not ensuring “basic safety and security” of students.

Late on Sunday, the Gurgaon police had arrested two senior officials of the school – Francis Thomas, Regional head, and J Thomas, HR head – on charges under the Juvenile Justice Act. Meanwhile, the school’s CEO, Ryan Pinto and his parents filed an anticipatory bail plea in the Bombay High Court, on Monday.

The Gurgaon police has also suspended station house officer (SHO) of the Sadar police station – the Ryan International School situated on Sohna Road falls under the jurisdiction of this station – for “negligence in maintaining law and order.” The school and its vicinity has been witness to violent protests by angry parents ever since the murder came to light. On Sunday, the police had to resort to lathi-charge on parents and other locals who had gathered outside Ryan International School to protest against the institution’s alleged negligence of safety norms that led to Pradyuman’s murder. The agitated protestors had also set a liquor shop – situated near the school – on fire.

Amid protests over the police and state government’s inaction against the school after the gruesome murder, Haryana education minister Ram Bilas Sharma had assured parents, on Sunday, that strict action will be taken against Ryan International authorities.

“Under section 75 of the JJ Act, action will be taken against the school management. The accused will be presented before the court within a week,” Sharma had told media persons at a briefing on Sunday, while asserting that the state’s Manohar Lal Khattar government was open to a CBI probe in the case.

Grace Pinto, owner of Ryan International School is a national executive member of BJP Mahila Morcha

Grace Pinto, owner of Ryan International School is a national executive member of BJP Mahila Morcha

The school’s promoter, Grace Pinto, is a national executive member of the BJP’s Mahila Morcha and the school’s Vasant Kunj branch in New Delhi had attracted considerable controversy last year when the promoters – Grace and her husband AF Pinto – had reportedly instructed the staff members to ensure that they along with parents of students at the school get at least 10 people each to enroll as members of the BJP. The proximity of the Pinto family to the BJP has led to accusations that the Haryana government was trying to shield the school’s promoters in the case.

Meanwhile, a three-member SIT constituted by the Union human resource development ministry to look into security measures at the school has revealed several lapses. Sources said that the SIT has found that most CCTV cameras in the school were not functional and that despite its high fee, the school had not constructed separate toilet facilities for students and support staff like drivers, conductors, peons, etc. The school, according to the SIT, also did not carry out the mandatory police verification checks while hiring the support staff.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Voter turnout of 56.68% recorded till 5pm in 5th phase of Lok Sabha elections

Elections are being held in 49 constituencies across eight states and Union Territories in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections 2024.

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A voter turnout of 56.68 % was recorded in phase 5 till 5 pm as per the Election Commission’s Voter Turnout App, with the highest voting percentage in West Bengal (73 %) and the lowest in Maharashtra (48.66 %). Lok Sabha elections are taking place in 49 constituencies across 8 states and Union Territories in the 5th phase of Lok Sabha elections 2024.

Voter turnout of 56.68% was recorded till 5pm. The breakup is as follows: J&K: 54.21%, Bihar: 52.35%, Ladakh: 67.15%, Jharkhand: 61.90%, Maharashtra: 48.66%, UP: 55.80%, Odisha: 60.55% and West Bengal: 73%. The fate of 4 Union ministers, including Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani, as well as Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will be decided in the ongoing Lok Sabha election. Former UP CM Mayawati, BJP’s Rae Bareli candidate Dinesh Pratep Singh, Smriti Irani were among the early voters today who cast their vote in the morning.

 The Lucknow East Lok Sabha seat will also hold a bypoll on the same day. The Lok Sabha seats which are participating in this phase include Rae Bareli, Mohanlalganj, Jalaun (SC), Amethi, Hamirpur, Jhansi, Banda, Kaushambi (SC), Fatehpur, Faizabad, Barabanki (SC), Gonda  and Kaisarganj. The candidates also include and minister of state of consumer affairs Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (Fatehpur) and minister of state for housing and urban affairs Kaushal Kishor (Mohanlalganj). Rahul Gandhi is contesting from Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat which was previously held by his mother and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

 The total number of voters expected to cast their vote in this phase is over 2.68 crore voters, with 144 candidates looking for their support. 11 BJP incumbent Lok Sabha MPs are contesting in this phase, while nominating new candidates in Kaisarganj and Barabanki (SC) Lok Sabha seats.

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Minor crashes Porsche killing two in Pune, granted bail in 15 hours, asked to write essay

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Tragedy struck in Kalyani Nagar, Pune during the early hours of Sunday when a speeding Porsche collided with a two-wheeler, resulting in the immediate deaths of two motorcyclists. Police officials have confirmed that the luxury car involved in the horrific accident was being driven by a juvenile. 

The juvenile court has granted bail to the 17-year-old after 15 hours with specific conditions. The bail terms included working with Yerawada traffic police for 15 days, writing an essay on the accident, seeking treatment from a doctor for alcohol cessation, and undergoing psychiatric counselling with a report submission.

The victims, a man and a woman, died on the spot after the speeding Porsche Taycan crashed into them from behind. Soon after the accident, the police arrived at the spot and booked the minor for rash and negligent driving, endangering life, and causing harm under IPC Sections 304A, 279, 337, 338, 427, and relevant sections of the Maharashtra Motor Vehicle Act at Pune City’s Yerwada Police Station.

The victims have been identified as Anis Avlia (24), and Ashwini Kosta (24). Both the victims hailed from Madhya Pradesh and were employed in Pune as engineers. Anis Avlia, a graduate in computer science, was employed at a multinational company situated in Kalyani Nagar, while Ashwini had been working alongside him at the same company until recently, before opting for a break.

Meanwhile, concerned authorities said that they have dispatched the minor’s blood samples for analysis to determine potential alcohol influence, with the results pending at the time of press. Reportedly, the accused is the son of renowned builder and Brahma Realty and Infrastructure owner, Vishal Agarwal. The Porsche involved in the accident was an unregistered vehicle.

It is reported that when the Pune police produced the minor in front of the magistrate, they requested the court to treat him as an adult. Nonetheless, the request was rejected and the court granted bail under the Juvenile Justice Act, imposing a few conditions along with the bail.

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Messages threatening Arvind Kejriwal appear on walls of Delhi metro station, inside trains, AAP blames BJP

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs has a letter sent to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday and demanded prompt and severe action in response to graffiti that had appeared on the Rajiv Chowk and Patel Nagar stations of the Delhi Metro.

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Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal recieved threating messages today, May 20, which were witten on a poster. These posters were found at two metro stations of Delhi and inside the metro coaches.

Images of the statements appeared on social media, with at least two of them appearing on signboards carrying the names of the Patel Nagar and Rajiv Chowk metro stations, and several of them sticked on the walls of metro stations. However, it is yet to confirm that who did this.

According to a senior police officer, the incident has been brought to their attention and an inquiry has been started.

Following the appearance of threatening graffiti within the metro stations of Rajiv Chowk and Patel Nagar in the nation’s capital, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP were preparing an attack on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

AAP MP Sanjay Singh claimed claimed that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) was the hub of the purported plot to target Arvind Kejriwal.

The BJP has been in a panic since Arvind Kejriwal’s release from jail. Right now, the BJP is preparing to strike Arvind Kejriwal with deadly intent. The prime minister’s office is the direct source of this plot. At the Metro stations in Rajiv Chowk and Patel Nagar, an attack threat against Kejriwal ji has been inscribed, according to Sanjay Singh’s statement today.

There have also reportedly been threatening messages scrawled inside metro trains.

AAP leader Atishi said the BJP is afraid of losing the next Lok Sabha elections in Delhi.  She claimed Arvind Kejriwal was targeted by the BJP through Swati Maliwal.

Meanwhile, the MLAs of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has a letter sent to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday and demanded prompt and severe action in response to graffiti that had appeared on the Rajiv Chowk and Patel Nagar stations of the Delhi Metro.

Social media users have also posted pictures of the graffiti. Security guards are stationed 24/7 and these stations are covered by CCTV. Why don’t the cops take any action? The Cyber Cell is where? This indicates that the BJP is behind this, she claimed.

In light of the Lok Sabha elections, Kejriwal was granted interim relief by the Supreme Court earlier this month. On March 21, Kejriwal was taken into custody in relation to his purported involvement in the Delhi excise policy case.

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