Live: Ram Singh's death a major lapse, says Shinde
Addressing a press conference in Delhi, the Home Minister said according to the preliminary report, Ram Singh committed suicide.
New Delhi: 4:06 pm: Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said the Magistrate will carry out an inquiry into the death of Ram Singh. He said the preliminary report says Ram Singh committed suicide.
4:02 pm: The post-mortem of Delhi gangrape accused Ram Singh accused will be carried out at AIIMS.
3:29 pm: Following the custodial death of Ram Singh, lawyers for the other accused have said that Tihar jail should be asked to ensure more security for their clients and submit a report on their condition every day. The court has also passed an order on this.
2.30 pm: Tihar Jail authorities has submitted a report to the government on the alleged suicide of Ram Singh. The submission of the report to the Union Home Ministry came after it sought details from the prison authorities.
2:02 pm: Tihar Jail sources have confirmed that Ram Singh used a plastic bucket to climb up to the grill of cell that he hanged himself to. Sources say all the other four accused would be provided psychological assistance, too, and added that Ram Singh and others had been provided psychiatric help earlier too.
1:50 pm: The DG Prisons, Vimla Mehra, has reached the Home Ministry to meet the Home Ministry officials over the alleged suicide of Ram Singh. She will brief the officials over Ram Singh's death ahead of Home Minister Sushil Kumar SHinde's media briefing later in the day.
1:19 pm: The Tihar Jail officials have informed the trial court in the Delhi gangrape case that the main accused Ram Singh has committed suicide.
12:35 pm: A three-member team of doctors has been formed to conduct the post-mortem of Delhi gangrape accused Ram Singh.
12:32 pm: The lawyer of the Delhi gangrape accused Ram Singh has alleged foul play in his client's custodial death. He said Ram Singh had no reason whatsoever to commit suicide.
11:47 am: Delhi gangrape accused Ram Singh's family claimed he had no reasons to commit suicide and that his enemies killed him. "My son could have never committed suicide. This is definitely a murder," his father said. He could not move his hand as it was fractured," he claimed. He said there should be a CBI inquiry into the incident. "I am also demanding that the post-mortem be held in front of me," he said.
"His enemies killed him. He was a son of a poor man. He had already confessed to everything. So there was no need for him to take such a step," Ram Singh's mother said.
Ram Singh's former lawyer AP Singh also alleged that Ram Singh was murdered. "After 3 months when the defence is going on. At this point one of the accused will commit suicide? No. this is not suicide, it's a murder," he said.
11:19 am: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit refused to comment on Ram Singh's alleged suicide, saying it won't be right to say anything before a probe report is complete. She said she did not discuss the case with Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, but only informed him about the death of the main accused in the Delhi gangrape case.
11:16 am: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's meeting with Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has ended. Reports say while this was a meeting scheduled in advance, Ram Singh's alleged suicide was also discussed during the meeting.
11:11 am: Calling Ram Singh's custodial death a blot on the judicial system, senior lawyer KTS Tulsi said, "I am very sad about this. Such incidents make a mockery of our judicial system. It is very unfortunate that there is one section of the media that handled the case with the lack of sensitiveness."
11:00 am: Following Ram Singh's alleged suicide, the security of the four other accused in the Delhi gangrape case has been increased. They will be produced in the trial court later on Monday.
Sources say the grill of the cell that Ram Singh was found hanging to is eight feet long.
10:55 am: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has arrived at the Home Ministry to meet Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde over the alleged suicide of Ram Singh, the main accused in the Delhi gangrape case.
10:30 am: Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde will meet Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit at 11 am following Delhi gangrape main accused Ram SIngh's custodial death.
10:09 am: The other inmates of the cell in which Ram Singh was lodged in Tihar Jail are being questioned over his suicide. The guard on duty outside the cell and the warden will also be questioned.
9:42 am: Sources have indicated that there were no CCTV cameras outside the cell that the Delhi gangrape accused Ram Singh was lodged in. This raises more questions on the Tihar Jail authorities as the Delhi Police had earlier written to the prisons department to keep these undertrials under tight vigil.
The Metropolitan Magistrate who carries on an inquiry will now have to rely on the versions of the guard on duty, the warden and the inmates.
9:29 am: Former DG Prisons Kiran Bedi said that while there were questions being raised on the Tihar Jail authorities over the alleged suicide of Ram Singh, the interrogation of the other inmates will reveal more clues. She said it remains to be seen what kind of watch was Ram Singh under.
"We need to access what kind of security was given. When the case of the accused is in fast-track court, the accused is very vulnerable, he knows the end is very near. Such people become very introvert. Such a person is socially ostracised in the prison. Such prisoners need a strong watch," she said.
Kiran Bedi also said she would've gotten a prisoner like Ram Singh, who was on a fast-track trial, regularly checked by a psychologist.
9:15 am: The Home Ministry has taken cognisance of the death of the main accused in the Delhi gangrape case. Minister of State for Home Affairs RPN Singh said, "The Home Ministry has sought a report from the Delhi Police and there is already an inquiry by the Tihar Jail. We are looking into the entire matter."
9:04 am: The brother of the Delhi braveheart on Monday said he wasn't shocked by Ram Singh's suicide and didn't blame Tihar Jail authorities. "Ram Singh has given himself a punishment. I do not blame the Tihar Jail authorities," he said.
"I think the case has been on the right track. I wanted that the accused should have been punished, may be hanged in public," he added.
8.40 am: Sources say that what was more shocking was that accused Ram Singh was not kept in solitary confinement but was sharing his cell with other inmates.
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. 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 PTI and IANS)