Over three years have passed since bus conductor Ashok Kumar was framed by the Gurugram police in a schoolboy's murder, however, the scars still remain fresh.
Kumar was thrashed in police custody and can no longer do any physical activity. The man who used to work as a bus conductor is unable to find a job.
Kumar was arrested after a seven-year-old boy of a private school in Gurugram was found with his throat slit near the school toilet on September 8, 2017. Kumar worked as a bus conductor at the school, and the police claimed to have recovered a knife from him and stated that he had killed the child.
Kumar was paraded before the media and forced to confess the crime.
Recently, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a charge sheet against four Haryana police personnel for allegedly framing a bus conductor in the killing of the student. The CBI filed its supplementary charge sheet in the 'Ryan murder case', before a special CBI court in Panchkula against the then SHO of Bhondsi police station Narender Singh Khatana, Sub-Inspector Shamsher Singh, ASI Subhash Chand and ACP (Sohna) Barem Singh.
The family of the conductor who was falsely implicated in the case lives in Ghamroj village in Gurugram with his wife, two children aged 12 and 9, and his elderly father.
Kumar's sister Sunita said, "He has not worked since his arrest. He was beaten so much that he can no longer lift heavy things or do manual work. It gets especially bad in the winter… Locals help out and we four sisters send across whatever we can from time to time."
Kumar's family told The Indian Express that he has stopped interacting with any outsider. Soon after Kumar was arrested, his wife Mamta also lost her cleaning job at the village school and has not earned since then.
The family, for a while, was dependent on the earnings of Kumar's father who worked as a security guard at a school earning Rs 6,000 per month. However, he also lost his job after the school closed due to the lockdown.
While the earning members of the family lost their jobs, the children also have been unable to attend classes throughout the past year.
"We don't have mobile phones needed for the online classes. We haven't been able to pay fees since the lockdown either," Amirchand said.
Kumar was thrashed, arrested and framed in a murder case. It was when the CBI took over that the Gurugram police case came under the scanner.
"The agency examined teachers, students, and investigated local markets which led them to a Class 11 student of the school who was arrested on November 7, 2017," CBI spokesperson RC Joshi said.
The CBI said that the Class 11 student, said to be weak in his studies, allegedly slit the victim's throat to force the school to declare a holiday as he wanted to avoid the scheduled parent-teacher meeting (PTM) and an examination.