M A I N   N E W S

Delhi’s shame
Delhi gang-rape mastermind found dead inside Tihar Jail
Family alleges murder
Three cell inmates sleep through ‘suicide’
Shaurya Karanbir Gurung
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 11
Ram Singh, the alleged prime accused in the Delhi gangrape-cum-murder, was found dead in his high-security cell in Tihar Jail here early Monday morning. A magisterial enquiry has been ordered into the death. His family alleged he was murdered.

A statement by Tihar Jail authorities said: “Ram Singh, 35 years of age, was found hanging around 5.45 am (Monday morning). The matter is being probed under Section 176 CrPC. The exact cause of death would be known after receipt of inquiry.”

Ram Singh, who drove the bus in which the 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist was brutally raped, used his bedsheet to hang himself from the iron grill of the ventilator at a height of 10 feet in his 15x12 rectangular cell, official sources said. He reportedly reached the iron bars by standing on a bucket given to jail inmates, attached the noose and hung himself. Three undertrial inmates slept through his alleged suicide.

Ram Singh’s body was first seen by a sepoy on sentry duty in the ward of Jail no. 3 around 5.45 am on Monday morning. An official said the sepoy thought the deceased was standing when he walked past his cell, one of the 25 in the ward. “Sometimes, inmates don’t sleep at night. So, the sepoy thought he was standing. When he looked closely through the iron-grill door, he noticed Ram Singh hanging from a noose attached near the ceiling,” he said.

All cells in the ward are locked at 7 pm after which the keys are handed over to the head warden for the night. Thereafter, a sepoy patrols the ward for eight hours till the next guard’s shift begins. Ram Singh may have hanged himself between 3 am and 4 am, officials said. The guard noticed his body at 5.45 am, even though lights in all cells are switched on during the night.

Prison authorities will examine footage of the single CCTV camera installed in Ram Singh’s ward in Jail No. 3. Prima facie, Ram Singh appeared to have committed suicide, sources said, adding that a post-mortem report to ascertain the cause of death was awaited.

The CCTV camera is positioned to capture movement in the passage around the cells. “The footage revealed that it takes the guard about 20 minutes to reach a corner of the passage from another end. Ram Singh may have committed suicide during those 20 minutes,” said an official.

Family members of the deceased claim Ram Singh could not have committed suicide. His father, who regularly met him in jail, claimed that he was on an earlier occasion assaulted by fellow inmates and sought to know why his cell was not changed frequently following this incident.

His lawyer VK Anand said his client was very happy with the progress of the trial. “My client was very happy with the trial. He could not have committed suicide. I suspect foul play,” he said.

Ram Singh’s cell mates said they didn’t hear any noise and expressed shock over his suicide. They reportedly told jail officials he appeared “fine” on Sunday night when they had dinner together and spoke to each other around 10 pm. The authorities refused to identify his fellow prisoners.

The deceased, his brother Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Kumar alias Thakur are charged for gang rape and fatal injuries to a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in Delhi in December 2012. The sixth accused, who claims to be a minor, is facing charges before a Juvenile Justice Board in Delhi.

Who was Ram Singh?

The 35-year-old was the driver of the bus in which a 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist and her friend were brutally assaulted by him and five others in December 2012. The girl died in a Singapore hospital on December 29. 

Major lapse, says Shinde

Describing the death of the prime accused in the Delhi gang rape case in Tihar Jail as a “major security lapse”, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Monday said preliminary inquiry suggested he committed suicide. He said security in the jail would be reviewed.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |