Millennium Post

Vinay’s suicide bid points finger at Tihar authorities

On August 24, Vinay Sharma, one of the convicts sentenced to death in the assault and gang-rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapist, allegedly took an overdose of anti-depressant pills and tried to choke himself from the grill of an iron window with a gamcha.

Sources said that Sharma, lodged in the high security ward of jail number 8, himself raised an alarm after which special police personnel of Tamil Nadu caught him and informed the higher jail authorities. Rushed to the Deen Dayal Upadhyay hospital,Vinay Sharma was declared out of danger and was later discharged.

In the aftermath of the failed suicide attempt, role of the warder and the medical staff of the jail authorities are being scanned. Talking to Millennium Post, a source said: “If any prisoner is under medication, here  in the case of Sharma who was under medication for depression, the concerned prisoner is required to take pill(s) in front of the concerned physician. However, prima facie, it has come to light that Vinay took an overdose of anti-depressant pills.”

This raises speculations that either one of jail authorities provided the anti-depressant pills to Vinay Sharma or he had saved the pills, which he took daily from the jail hospital, somewhere in his room. 

However, the source shared that since the room has no space for keeping and hiding stuff, the possibility of hiding pills is being ruled out in the preliminary stage.

Meanwhile, the police said that they are waiting for the medical reports to ascertain the quantity of pills which Sharma popped in. It is worth mentioning that the high security wards in each of the nine jails in the Tihar Jail complex is under the surveillance of several CCTV cameras.

Explaining the security at the high security ward, a jail official, requesting anonymity, shared: “Each high security ward has two rooms where in each room, a high-risk prisoner is kept. Apart from the ample presence of CCTV cameras and special police personnel, one head warder and two warders keep an eye on the prisoner kept at the high security ward on rotational shifts.”

According to Delhi Police sources, two suicides were reported in 2015 while in 2016 till August 25, already two suicides have been reported.

Highly placed sources further shared: “Despite the presence of world-class medical facilities provided in the jail to the prisoners, the persistent shortage of medical staff especially clinical psychologists tops as one of the major reasons behind the increase in number of suicidal deaths in Tihar Jail.” 

The jail complex consists of nine jails which houses more than 13,000 inmates.

Salient points
  How could Vinay overdose himself when an inmate is supposed to consume medicines in the presence of medical staff?
  Did Vinay manage to hide the pills in his cell?
  Did he source the pills from outside or someone from within the jail provided him the pills?
  Should the role of the warder also be put under scanner?
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