Ryan School murder case: CBI questions Class 11 student, no evidence against bus conductor

Demonstrators protest outside Ryan International School in Gurgaon as they demand action against the school. File photo: PTI

Demonstrators protest outside Ryan International School in Gurgaon as they demand action against the school. File photo: PTI

New Delhi: A Class 11 student who allegedly wanted the parent-teacher meeting and exams to be postponed has been apprehended in connection with the killing of a seven-year-old boy in Gurgaon’s Ryan International School, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said on Wednesday.

In a sensational twist to the case, the high school student, who is about 16 years old, was apprehended late last night for allegedly killing his junior inside the school, said a CBI spokesperson.

Pradyuman, a Class 2 student of the school, was found dead with his throat slit by a sharp-edged weapon on the morning of 8 September.

Officials in the agency said the crime was committed in just three to four minutes. The CBI has not found any evidence so far against bus conductor Ashok Kumar, who was the Gurgaon Police’s sole accused in the gruesome killing, CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said.

The murder weapon, a knife, was found in the commode of the toilet where the killing allegedly took place, he said. It was the same knife seized by the Gurgaon Police.

According to the agency, the Class 11 student, believed to be weak in his studies, allegedly slit Pradyuman’s throat to get the school to declare a holiday in order to defer a scheduled parent-teacher meeting (PTM) and an examination.

The CBI spokesperson said the minor student was apprehended last night at 11.30 pm in accordance with the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act. “His parents were kept in the loop and all measures in accordance with the JJ Act were complied with. He remains our prime suspect.”

He said the agency analysed CCTV footage, showing the movement of people in and out of the toilet, on the basis of which it narrowed the list of suspects. The agency has not found any evidence of sexual assault, he said.

The CBI was able to piece together elements of the crime by analysing CCTV footage, scientific and forensic examination, analysis of the crime scene and by questioning students, teachers and staff of the school.

Based on CCTV footage and crime scene analysis, the agency examined all potential suspects and witnesses. The list included 125 teachers and students, officials said.

Ryan Pinto, owner of the Ryan International School chain, is yet to be questioned in the case. “The probe is still on. The first task was to identify the killer. It was a tough case. By the time the case was given to us, many persons were allowed to use the bathroom. We are questioning the teenager only between 10am to 5pm as per JJ Act provisions,” said an official.

The mobile records of all the suspects were scrutinised and examined by the CBI’s special crime team. Although the Class 11 student had planned a killing on 8 September, the “child in conflict with law” had not identified his target, Dayal said. It was a coincidence that Pradyuman reached the toilet and became a victim of senior student’s ghastly plan, officials added.

The father of the high school student told a television channel that his son was innocent and they had been cooperating with the police from day one. “My son didn’t do anything. He informed the gardener and teachers after finding Pradyuman’s body. He stayed in the school the entire day, and appeared for the exam. There was not even a single spot of blood on my son’s clothes,” the father said, his face pixellated to avoid identification.

Giving details, he said Tuesday was the fourth time they were called. “I reached there around 11am… I left from there at 2am and CCTV footage can be seen for that,” he said.

The CBI’s findings will be a major embarrassment for the Gurgaon Police, which had blamed Ashok Kumar and alleged that he was waiting in the toilet with a knife. The police had formed 14 SIT teams.

Kumar, a resident of Ghamdoj village in Sohna, was hired by a school bus contractor around seven months before the killing. Villagers in Ghamdoj had said Kumar had been framed and he had no previous history of being involved in any crime. “Now that they have arrested this student, it is proof that the doubt we had about the police investigation was right,” Pradyuman’s father Varun Thakur told the media.

[“Source-livemint”]

Forget essays, more ‘objective’ questions likely in UP exams to simplify evaluation work

VCs conference

A number of interesting decisions were taken at the vice-chancellors’ conference held today in Lucknow, including increasing teaching days from 180 to 220 and use of technology in classes. However, the decision to introduce a “mix of objective and descriptive type of questions,” in examinations from next year, to simplify the work evaluators, was somewhat surprising.

In a media briefing after the conference of VCs of universities from all over Uttar Pradesh, the deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma said that from next year the university will introduce objective type questions in examinations to ‘simplify’ evaluation work.

Sharma said evaluation of answers to descriptive type questions took time.Question papers would now have a mix of objective and descriptive type of questions.

Would the education system benefit from a system where answers in university and college-level examinations are required to be short just to make an evaluator’s work easy?

This is a question that demands a lengthy response.

 

 

[“source-hindustantimes”]

Questions Raised About Apple’s Motives for Pulling New York Times App From China

Questions Raised About Apple's Motives for Pulling New York Times App From China
Apple has removed the New York Times app from its digital store in China, acting on what it says were orders from the Chinese government.

But the fact that the move was made on the same day a New York Times reporter contacted Apple about a potentially embarrassing story for the California-based company – as well as the fact that other international news apps were unaffected – has raised doubts about the precise motives behind the action.

The New York Times, which offers content in both English and Chinese, is one of a growing number of foreign news organizations whose content is blocked in China, although some people here use special software to bypass the censorship system.

The Times said the app had been removed from Apple stores on December 23, apparently under regulations issued last June preventing mobile apps from engaging in activities that endanger national security or disrupt social order.

But that was the same day that New York Times reporter, David Barboza, first contacted Apple for comment on a story about billions of dollars in hidden perks and subsidies the Chinese government provides to the world’s largest iPhone factory, run by Apple’s partner Foxconn. That story went online on Dec. 29.

GreatFire.org, an anti-censorship group, worked with the New York Times to launch a version of its Chinese-language app in July that circumvented Chinese censorship in ways the government could not easily prevent.

It pointed out that its Chinese-language Android app continues to work unobstructed in China, while its own own FreeWeibo app had earlier also been removed from the Apple store. It tweeted that, its opinion, the censorship was related to the Times piece about subsidies for Foxconn.

Even if the timing was merely a coincidence, the news underlines how American information technology companies are being forced to play by China’s rules if they want to do business here – even at some cost to their reputation in the West.

It is also another example of how the noose is gradually tightening under the world’s largest system of censorship known as the Great Firewall of China.

But it also comes as China redoubles its own efforts to spread the Communist Party’s message far and wide across the world, including in the United States.

The latest move throws up another barrier for Chinese readers, especially new customers. The app is available in Apple stores in Hong Kong and Taiwan, for example, but users need a credit card billing address outside mainland China to download it, the Times reported.
“For some time now the New York Times app has not been permitted to display content to most users in China and we have been informed that the app is in violation of local regulations,” Apple spokesman Fred Sainz told the Times. “As a result, the app must be taken down off the China App Store. When this situation changes, the App Store will once again offer the New York Times app for download in China.”

The Washington Post’s website is not blocked in China, and its English-language app is available on the Apple store, but many other news organizations are blocked.

The Times said it had asked Apple to reconsider its decision. Criticism also rained down online.

As my colleagues Emily Rauhala and Elizabeth Dwoskin reported last month, California’s Internet companies may have once dreamed of liberating China through technology, but these days they seem more willing than ever to play the Communist Party’s game; case in point, news that Facebook is developing a censorship tool that many interpreted as an attempt to get its service unblocked here.

The news of the Times’ app being blocked was not reported by Chinese media, but filtered through to a few Netizens.

“We are closing our doors to the outside world,” lamented one user of Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter. “This is a restoration of the Cultural Revolution or another historical retrogression,” said another.

The news also comes as China Central Television (CCTV), a propaganda arm of the Communist Party and the country’s largest TV network, launched a new global platform on New Year’s Day to try to improve China’s image overseas.

In a congratulatory letter, President Xi Jinping urged the newly launched China Global Television Network to “tell China’s story well, spread China’s voice well, let the world know a three-dimensional, colorful China, and showcase China’s role as a builder of world peace.”

The Washington Post is one of many Western newspapers that carries a regular paid supplement by China Daily, another Communist Party mouthpiece.

© 2016 The Washington Post

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Tags: Apple, iTunes, New York Times, New York Times App, China, iTunes China, Apps

[“Source-Gadgets”]

 

Snapchat IPO Filing Comes to Light with Questions Remaining

Snapchat IPO Filing Comes to Light with Questions Remaining

It looks like Snapchat is finally going public.

According to a Reuters, the company has confidentially filed for an initial public offering of its shares. Snapchat filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the U.S. Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act.

It’s worth noting that companies with less than $1 billion in revenue can secretly file for an IPO.

The filing was made before the U.S. presidential election, which has increased uncertainty in global markets but only recently came to light.

Questions Remain

Interestingly, this is not the first time reports of Snapchat going public have emerged.

Earlier this year, it was reported that the company was seeking to raise as much as $4 billion in an initial public offering expected to take place at the start of next year. It was further suggested that the IPO could value the hugely popular media messaging service at up to $40 billion.

According to Reuters sources, the California-based company is planning to go public as soon as March and be valued at $20 billion to $25 billion.

Determined to Keep the Momentum

By going public, Snapchat seems determined not to meet the fate of services like Vine. A popular social app at one time, Vine struggled to compete with bigger players. Owner Twitter finally announced in October it would shut down the video looping service.

Snapchat has also resisted Facebook’s whopping $3 billion buyout offer, while facing stiff competition from rivals.

What This Means for Your Business

A financially robust Snapchat means a more stable platform for small business marketing and communications.

Today it’s a popular tool to target a wide range of consumers, especially younger audiences. Once the company raises more revenue, it can be expected that new features and add-ons will be introduced to entice more users.

Snapchat Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]