A day after Pradyuman Thakur’s father Barun Thakur revealed that he was strongly discouraged by Haryana cabinet minister Rao Narbir Singh to demand a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the murder case, the Haryana Minister has presented his side of the story and has denied the allegations stating that he never spoke strongly against  a CBI probe to the family. He also defended himself by saying that he was the one who accompanied the Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to Pradyuman’s home and assured them of a CBI probe in the matter.

Pradyuman Thakur was found murdered inside the Ryan International School toilet on September 8. The Haryana Police SIT team who were initially probing the case had arrested a school bus conductor Ashok Kumar, deeming him as the prime accused of the murder. However, after continuous demands of Pradyuman’s father Ashok Thakur, the case was handed to CBI which after almost 2 months long probe, arrested a standard 11th student as the main accused in the killing.The arrested teenager has been sent to an Observation home after being presented in front of the Juvenile Justice Board. Pradyuman’s family have demanded strict action against the accused if proven guilty. After the arrest, Pradyuman’s father on Tuesday told IANS that Forest and Civil Aviation Minister Narbir Singh had told him not to demand an investigation by the CBI into the murder.

“When we said that we want the CBI to investigate the case, the minister argued: ‘What will happen if the CBI too comes up with the fact that the school bus conductor Ashok Kumar killed the child after failing to sodomise him’, Pradyuman’s father Barun Thakur was quoted saying by the IANS. Thakur said the minister was accompanied by a man not known to him. ‘Prior to that, the minister was present during the cremation of Pradyuman on September 9 and he again visited us on September 10 to pay his condolences but could not meet me,’ he added. 

In his defence, Narbir Singh, speaking with a leading news channel said that he had visited the family after Pradyuman’s demise and had assured them of a CBI investigation if in case they are not satisfied with the Gurugram police’s probe. “I had visited Pradyuman’s house a day after his death to meet the family, the parents had then requested to mark a CBI probe in the case. So I told them no government marks a CBI inquiry so quickly; let the local authorities probe the matter and if you’re not satisfied, in 4-5 days I’ll return and we’ll transfer to the CBI.” said Narbir Singh explaining his stand.

Narbir Singh had earlier came in support of the Haryana Police when the SIT team was under CBI’s scanner for a possible botch up in the case as the bus conductor who had been arrested was later declared innocent by the CBI. “I am not able to digest the outcome of the investigation carried out by the CBI. The Haryana Police probe was more acceptable,”‘ the BJP leader had said.

Pradyuman’s father had also alleged that the arrested juvenile’s family has connections with Narbir Singh which is why the BJP MLA is trying to protect the accused. Denying the allegation, Narbir Singh said, “its all miss communicated, till date I don’t know who the accused boy is and I have no idea about his family either.”

“I was and I will always stand with Pradyuman and his family, I don’t know why they are pointing fingers at me but I have always stepped up for people in need,” he added.

Weighing in on the fact that the probe should be as per the family’s satisfaction, Narbir Singh said, “The family should get justice and the probe should be conducted fairly until they are not fully satisfied.”