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SC to examine security measures in pvt schools

New Delhi: Even as the Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Centre and the Haryana government on a plea seeking that the CBI and/or a special investigation team (SIT) probe the murder of a 7-year-old boy in a private Gurugram school, it decided, of its own accord, to examine the issue of safety measures in all private schools.
Following the murder of Pradyuman Thakur at the Gurugram branch of Ryan International School on Friday, a batch of lawyers told the apex court that private schools were not implementing guidelines to ensure the safety of students. The lawyers further appealed to the Supreme Court to take suo moto cognisance, or examine of its own accord, safety in private schools.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also sought a response from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on the plea, which has sought framing of guidelines to fix responsibility of school managements in case of such incidents and also regarding the safety and security of children.
The top court said it will look into the issue of safety measures in all private schools and not confine itself specifically to the case of Ryan International School.
Earlier in the day, Pradyuman's father, Varun Thakur, filed a plea in the top court asking for a CBI/SIT probe into his son's murder. A bus conductor working at the school allegedly confessed to the murder.
Late on Sunday, two senior officials of the Gurugram branch of Ryan International School were arrested by police as protests intensified against the school over its alleged inaction in the murder of Pradhyumn. The School's CEO Ryan Pinto and his parents on Monday filed an anticipatory bail plea in Bombay High Court.
"Francis Thomas, Regional head, and J Thomas, HR head, have been arrested under JJ Act on late Sunday night," said police.
The area's police station in charge was also suspended for "negligence in maintaining law and order".
"SHO, Sadar police station, Sohna Road, was suspended with immediate effect last (Sunday) night. Speedy investigation underway," said Gurugram's police commissioner.
Police on Sunday lathi-charged protesters outside Ryan International School in Gurugram.
The demonstration took a violent turn as the agitating crowd set a liquor shop close to the school on fire. Police then resorted to lathi-charge to bring the situation under control and disperse the protesters.
Haryana education minister Ram Bilas Sharma assured parents that strict action will be taken against the school authorities and the accused would soon be brought to justice.
A three-member team has found several lapses by the school. For one, there were no separate toilets for school bus conductors and drivers, which meant they used the same toilet as students. It was found that there were no proper checks and police verification before the school hired staff.
The CCTV cameras are installed at wrong places, found the team, and many of them were not even working.
The wall behind the school is unfinished, which means anybody could climb in.
The lack of neglect is also on display in fire extinguishers that are past their usable date. See P3

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