Ryan murder: Three school trustees seek anticipatory transit bail

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Mumbai, Sep 11 (IANS) Three trustees of Ryan International Schools on Monday moved the Bombay High Court seeking anticipatory transit bail to move an appropriate court in Haryana in connection with a child’s murder at their Gurugram school, official sources said here.

Augustine F. Pinto, his wife Grace Pinto, and their son Ryan Pinto — among the trustees of St Xaviers Education Trust that manages Ryan International Schools — have sought anticipatory bail, which is likely to come up for hearing in the High Court on Tuesday.

“The trust’s lawyers have moved an application for anticipatory transit bail to them to enable them to visit Haryana and move the appropriate court there for relief,” said a senior official connected to one of the trust’s schools in Mumbai, who declined to be identified.

The sudden move by the high-profile Pinto couple — Augustine, a former Sheriff of Mumbai, and Grace who is close to top Bharatiya Janata Party echelons — and their son Ryan, came amid reports that a Haryana Police team was on way to Mumbai to question them and other trustees in the case, and possibly arrest them.

However, the names and whereabouts of other members of the trust — registered as a public charitable trust in Maharashtra in the early 1980s — remain a mystery as all officials refused to take calls.

It was also unclear whether the remaining trustees could also be implicated in the case that has snowballed into a major national issue concerning safety and security of children in schools.

Despite repeated attempts, the Pintos and their lawyers could not be contacted for comments.

Seven-year-old Pradhuman Thakur was found murdered on September 8 at Ryan International School in Bhondsi area on the Sohna Road in Haryana’s Gurugram district.

As a fallout, two school officials — including its northern India head Francis Thomas and human resource head Jeyus Thomas — were arrested and remanded in police custody till Tuesday.

Shaken by the murder, parents’ associations of at least half a dozen Ryan International Schools in Mumbai and elsewhere plan to raise the issue of their children’s safety with the managements this week.

On Monday, the Supreme Court issued notice to the Centre, the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Haryana government, the Central Bureau of Secondary Education and the Human Resource Development Ministry on a plea filed by the child’s father Varun Thakur to seek a CBI probe into the murder.

–IANS

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