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Mar 11, 2013 at 05:19pm IST

Delhi gangrape: Prime accused Ram Singh commits suicide inside jail

New Delhi: The main accused in the Delhi gangrape case, Ram Singh, was found hanging at 5 am on Monday morning inside the Tihar Jail. Ram Singh, one of the six accused in the Delhi gangrape case, was the driver of the bus in which a 23-year-old paramedical student was raped.

Reports indicate that Ram Singh committed suicide in Tihar Jail by hanging himself using the clothes that he was wearing and tearing a piece of the mat that he was given. Reports say the grill that he was found hanging to is eight feet tall. He committed suicide in Jail No. 3 in Tihar Jail. The DG Prisons confirmed to CNN-IBN that Ram Singh committed suicide.

Reacting to the incident, National Commission for Women Chairperson Mamta Sharma said, "I think he was ashamed of the society. But how did he commit suicide in the jail? There is so much of frisking in the jail."

Expressing shock over the incident, human rights activist Ranjana Kumari said, "This is absolutely shocking. The whole nation is watching and waiting for justice to happen. This man hangs himself, the jail authorities have been callous."

Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi said such rape accused have a major tendency to commit suicide as they are isolated by other inmates in jails. She added that the jail's inquiry will reveal exactly what kind of 'watch' was Ram Singh kept under.

The suicide raises serious questions on the Tihar jail authorities as Ram Singh was under 'suicide watch'. The Tihar Jail authorities have ordered an inquiry into the incident and a post-mortem will be conducted on Ram Singh's body soon.

Earlier in January, there were reports that all five accused in the case were under suicide watch as the jail sources had indicated that the five had stopped interacting with others in the jail. The 'suicide watch', officials had said, was an alert that the five could possibly harm themselves. A senior officer had been told to monitor their activities.

The Tihar Central Jail complex has several jails, each identified by a number. While Pawan, 19, and Akshay, 29, are held in Jail No 4, Vinay, 20, and Mukesh, 26, are in Jail No 7. A senior officer had been deputed to oversee the five. Other jail wardens were also on alert.

Even as Ram Singh wanted the case to be transferred out of Delhi, his lawyer VK Anand on Monday said he was under no stress. "Ram Singh was not under mental stress. I do not think there was any reason for him to commit suicide."

"I am shocked to hear this news. There were security concerns, so we wanted the case to be transferred out of Delhi, but Ram Singh was not under stress," Anand added.

Meanwhile, Delhi Police sources say the suicide won't affect their inquiry as they had collected required evidence in the case and that Ram Singh's interrogation was complete.

The 23-year-old paramedical student was gangraped inside a moving bus on December 16, 2012 and succumbed to her injuries on December 29, 2012. The case was followed by outrage and protests throughout the country, following which a fast-track trial was ordered into the case.

The suicide of the main accused comes amidst the trial in the fast-track court. Ram Singh, along with the other four accused, was charged with murder, gangrape, destruction of evidence, criminal conspiracy, dacoity, unnatural sex and common intent in the case. The sixth accused is a Juvenile and is in an observation home.

(With additional information from IANS)

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