Millennium Post

Battered childhood

The murder of young Pradyuman Thakur, at Ryan International School, in Gurugram on September 8, had taken everyone by unprecedented shock. Schools, premises that are expected to assure the safety and nourishment of children, were exposed to be mongering criminal intent. As Pradyuman lay lifeless, suspicions followed about what could have compelled anyone to kill a child of barely seven. The lapse in the security arrangements of the school authorities had turned immediate eyes onto the bus conductor, who was subsequently arrested and interrogated by the Gurugram Police. While the police maintained that the conductor had confessed to his crimes, a cloud of confusion prevailed as his family kept claiming otherwise. The CBI, which soon begun its investigations, made a harrowing revelation today. Seemingly, a student of Class-XI from the same school is said to have been the hand behind the death of Pradyuman. As has been discovered, from a thorough investigation of CCTV footage and consequent interrogation of all students of Class-XI, impending examinations and a parent-teacher meeting had compelled a student of the 11th standard to slit Pradyuman's throat, hoping that holidays would postpone both the exams and the meeting. It is heartbreaking when one tries to cognise how a mere 16-year old was compelled to take a child's life, simply to evade challenges that are rather perfunctory in modern society. Reports also suggest that the 16-year old has been battling mental health issues—primarily anger management—for which he has been under psychiatric treatment. This situation heightens two exigencies that demand more space in public discourse. On one hand, it emphasises the brutality that has infiltrated even the most naive minds—it is unbelievable that to evade exams a teenager would go to the extent of taking a child's life. And second, more importantly, it highlights the prevalence of mental health disorders and the turmoil it can nourish in simple, everyday life. The government, as a guardian to its citizens, must take the required steps that would engage with the battle against mental health disorders in the everyday educational parlance. There must be appropriate methods for recuperation and a general sensitivity towards its pitfalls. It is disturbing that a 16-year old, for his own reasons, believed that taking away the life of a child was adequately rational. Though the case remains to be addressed by the Juvenile Justice Board, the problem of juvenile delinquency, as a phenomenon plaguing modern society, has to be better addressed. Justice always demands that the innocent never be harangued. The bus conductor was severely interrogated by the Gurugram Police, and for now, he seems to be innocent. His family claims, and rightly so, that the trauma of police interrogation where he was apparently forced to confess the crimes he never committed, have irrevocably caused him emotional and mental trauma. Nobody deserves that punishment, simply for the validation of justice which isn't adequately meted out.
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