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Delhi rape accused found dead in Tihar

Delhi rape accused found dead in Tihar
Delhi gang-rape prime accused Ram Singh, 33, ‘committed suicide’ on Monday under mysterious circumstances by hanging himself inside Tihar jail. The incident came to light around 5:45 am. Ram Singh’s body  was found inside jail number 3, at ward number 5, by a jail warden belonging to the Tamil Nadu police. He was hanging from the iron grill of his cell’s ventilator and was rushed to the jail hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. The security of Tihar is the responsibility of Tamil Nadu police force.

According to Tihar sources, he was removed from ‘suicide watch’ a few weeks ago. The 33-year-old, along with four other accused, was put on ‘suicide watch’ after they stopped talking to other inmates and with each other. The alert was lifted when they found him and the others behaving normally and not showing any signs of depression. ‘He seemed totally fine last night too. He had his dinner as well,’ said a jail official.

Ram Singh reportedly hung himself with his own shirt. The officials said he had responded till 3:30 am to the routine roll call of prisoners. None of them heard or saw him hanging himself. ‘Singh was not alone in the cell. There were three other inmates present and a guard was also posted at ward number 5. But nobody came to know about it. Around 5:45 am, he was found hanging,’ said a senior jail official.

This incident has raised several questions on the safety of inmates inside the high-security Tihar jail. The manner in which the incident has unfolded has brought forward several conspiracy theories. It was unlikely for the gang-rape accused to commit suicide using his clothes and without any intervention.

‘The family members of the deceased have been informed. The matter is being enquired into by a judicial officer as per section 176 of Cr PC,’ Tihar officials said.

Ram Singh’s lawyer, V K Anand, who was outside the jail premises, said: ‘He cannot commit suicide. There must be some foul play involved. He was not under any mental pressure, but was being burdened by jail officials to change his lawyer, as they felt I was a strong defender.’ In the outcry after the death, the scheduled postmortem of  Singh’s body, which was  to be done at Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) hospital, will now take place at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) under a team of four doctors. This step was taken to rule out any suspicion of homicide since forensic medicine department of AIIMS is considered the premier centre for autopsy. Senior official from DDU, who sought anonymity, said, ‘The body has been transferred to AIIMS.’

Singh was a bus driver and had sustained fracture in his right arm in 2009. Doctors had to insert a rod after which he used to drive vehicles.
Puja Banerjee

Puja Banerjee

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