He walks a defeated man, even though CBI found no incriminating evidence against him. After a lapse of 73 days, 42-year-old Ashok Kumar finally walked out of Bhondsi jail yesterday evening.
Kumar is uncertain of his days ahead — his former life now unrecognisable.
His village, Ghamroj, is now a media spectacle, as media vans, well-wishers and family members congregated there for his welcome — all waiting to catch a glimpse of him.
A special court in Gurgaon granted him bail in the murder case of 8-year-old Pradyuman Thakur, letting him out on a bond of Rs 50,000.
Mohit Verma, 26-year-old Rohtak resident who acted as the defence counsel for Ashok when Gurgaon and Sohna bar associations refused to support him, said these words about his client: “I visited the family of the accused, and was sure that something was wrong in Ashok’s arrest. He did not possess a criminal deportment. He didn’t think twice when he was asked to carry the bleeding child to the van, or when he, along with others, was asked to clean up the blood stains on the wall of the washroom. I felt quite certain that he had not committed the crime.”
In this darkness, his family has been his bulwark of support. His children, in the words of his wife, would refuse to go to school every day in the hope that their father would just turn up unexpectedly.
Staring out of the confusion and chaos, Ashok says silently, “We’ll visit Pradyuman’s father shortly. I need to look at him — tell him that I feel his loss. And I have suffered too, but had no hand in it. He’ll know I am speaking the truth.”
City Spidey spoke to him. Here are excerpts from the interview.
Why did you confess to the crime earlier?
I was beaten and tortured by the police. They forced me to confess. Mujhe jaise bola maine kiya [I did as told]. They gave me electric shocks and threatened me with dire consequences.
What are your feelings now?
I am happy that I hace been released finally. I have had to stay away from my family and children for something I did not do. Now, I just want to get back to them — and my village. Had my lawyer, my people back home and my family not supported me through this darkness, I would not have been out.
Were you tortured while in jail?
No. I did not face any torture in jail.
Are you planning to take any action against Gurgaon Police?
I will decide what to do after consulting with my legal counsel.
Do you feel the school authorities are also responsible for your plight?
Yes, the school is equally responsible. They offered no help to get me out of this mess. I was just helping the child to the van at the insistence of the teachers.
TAGS: Ashok Kumar / Pradyuman Thakur / CBI / Bail / Ghamroj