According to the police, the boy is probably the youngest to be booked under Section 302 of the IPC in the city.
The victim, 30-year-old Ayesha Aslam Husuyae, was also privately coaching the Class 7 student at her home for the past five years.
The boy allegedly first told the police that his mother had asked him to get Rs 2,000 from the teacher as she had helped them financially in the past.
“After school on Monday evening, when he asked his teacher for the money, she scolded him in front of his friends. The boy told us he felt insulted,” said a police officer, on condition of anonymity.
The police said that around 8.30 pm on Monday, the boy went to the teacher’s home — located around 200 m away from his house — with a knife. After she allowed him in, he sat on a sofa and as soon as she turned, stabbed her on the back. She raised an alarm and started calling for her stepmother, who lived opposite to her house.
Police, however, are corroborating the minor’s account, as he has been changing his statements. “He also told us that a man gave him ₹1,000 to kill Ayesha(teacher),” said the officer. “He claims to have spent that money on eating burgers with his friends. We are questioning others too.”
“We are verifying the facts. We have been questioning him in accordance with the Juvenile Justice Act,” said Shashikumar Meena, deputy commissioner of police, zone 6, refusing to share more details.
The boy’s father, who is a tailor, said they were in a state of disbelief. “He was her best student. We had stopped sending him to tuitions as we didn’t have the money, but she was kind enough to teach him,” said the father, adding that his son had never shown any tendency of violent behaviour in the past.
The boy lives with his parents, two elder brothers, an elder sister and younger brother.
Meanwhile, Ayesha’s family claimed that her murder was part of a “larger conspiracy” as her father, Aslam, was also killed in 2010 outside the same house over an alleged property dispute.
Her mother added: “My daughter spoke good English and helped so many children here who were not faring well. This is a poor locality and many could not afford to pay her so she taught some for free.”
Victim’s mother said that it is difficult to believe that a 12-year-old could commit the crime alone. “There is someone who may have tutored him,” she said.
Ayesha’s younger sister, Zainab, too alleged that there was a “conspiracy behind the murder”. “My father was killed in the same way and now my sister. We fear for our lives,” she said.
The teacher’s father had been stabbed to death at the same spot in 2010, resulting in the arrest of a neighbour. The police said there was no link between the two cases.
The family members suspect someone else is behind the murder. “How is it possible that she was murdered at the same spot as my father? We do not even know this boy. One by one, they are killing everyone for our property,” the sister alleged.
A police officer said: “The boy seemed confident and answered our questions calmly. He confessed to the murder.”
However, later in the day, the boy allegedly told the police that he was paid by someone to murder the teacher.
He said a person had paid him Rs 1,000 to kill her and promised to pay another Rs 5,000 later on. He also said that he has spent the Rs 1,000 by purchasing burgers and playing video games with two friends. He has given us the name of the person who paid him and the shops where he spent the money.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, the boy’s father said, “I am at a loss for words. We never asked him to get money. He is a fantastic student. In fact, when we stopped sending him to the teacher for tuitions, as we didn’t have money, she asked us to stop worrying about money and send him for tutions.”