Delhi gangrape: Ram Singh's suicide raises questions on Tihar authorities
What is more shocking is that Ram Singh was not kept in solitary confinement and there were other inmates in the cell too.
New Delhi: The suicide of the main accused in the Delhi gangrape case has raised big questions on the Tihar Jail authorities. Prime accused Ram Singh committed suicide by hanging himself using the clothes that he was wearing inside Jail No. 3 of the Tihar Jail and his body was discovered early on Monday morning at 5.00 am. This came even as Ram Singh was under 'suicide watch'.
Ram Singh, along with the four other accused in the case, was reportedly put under suicide watch, in January 2013 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.
What is more shocking is that Ram Singh was not kept in solitary confinement and there were other inmates in the cell too, according to sources. Sources also indicated that there were no CCTV cameras outside the cell that 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.
A few of the unanswered questions include - why was there no CCTV camera inside and outside his cell in the jail? What will the probe establish if no guard was present either? Is it possible for anyone to commit suicide in a cell with two other inmates? Why were Tihar authorities lax despite the accused being on "suicide watch". Is it possible to tear a rug and turn it into a noose?
The Metropolitan Magistrate who carries on an inquiry will have to rely on the versions of the warden and the inmates.
Officials had in January said the five faced no threat from other prisoners even as there were conflicting reports that one of the accused was beaten up inside the jail. A senior officer was deputed to oversee the five. Other jail wardens were also on alert.
Despite this, Ram Singh, the main accused, managed to hang himself, in a pre-meditated manner. He used his clothes, tied them knots, and hanged himself inside his cell. 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."
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. All the five men and the 17-year-old juvenile, who is in an observation home, are charged with raping the physiotherapy intern in the bus and also thrashing her male friend.
Ram Singh, Pawan, Vinay and Mukesh were arrested within two days of the crime. Akshay and the juvenile were caught December 21. Mukesh is Ram Singh's younger brother.
Even as the Tihar Jail authorities have now ordred an inquiry into the incident, the suicide of an accused who was under suicide watch, comes as a huge embarrassment for both the jail authorities and the Delhi Police.
(With additional information from IANS)