Ram Singh found hanging

Gang-rape main accused was in a cell with 3 others
Last Updated 11 March 2013, 21:18 IST

Ram Singh, the main accused in the December 16 gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapist student, was found hanging in mysterious circumstances in his cell at Tihar Jail on Monday.

Singh was lodged in a 15x12 ft cell along with three other inmates. This cell is beside the condemned cells where terrorist Afzal Guru, serving death sentence in the Parliament attack, stayed before his execution on February 9.

A jail official responsible for monitoring around 20 cells in a ward found Singh hanging with a noose made of clothes and tied with an iron rod in the ceiling around 5.45 am. Three other inmates were sleeping inside the cell.

“He immediately informed senior officials and doctors who rushed to the spot,” Tihar spokesperson Sunil Gupta told Deccan Herald.

After examining, when the jail doctor declared him dead, the jail officials informed police, magistrate and home ministry official around 7 am. The police and a forensic team and magistrate rushed to the prison for an investigation.

Prima facie, it seems that he might have committed suicide, but “foul play could not be ruled out,” the police said. “At the scene of incident, we were informed that three other inmates were sleeping which leaves many unanswered questions. A bucket was also found under the body,” said the officer. Singh might have climbed on the bucket to place his neck in the noose.

After examining the crime scene, the body was sent to AIIMS for post-mortem, which will be done by a panel of doctors on Tuesday.

The magistrate has taken the statement of all the three fellow inmates, and they reportedly said, “They were sleeping and unaware when Singh took such the extreme step.”

 A jail official said Singh and the three inmates had dinner together on Sunday and “was behaving very normally.”

Earlier, Singh was in a mild depression and seeing this, he was shifted with the three inmates, a jail official said. Singh was very much concerned about his case.

“We have not found any suicide note on the spot,” said a police officer. The post-mortem report and the quizzing of the three other inmates and the jail official—who found him hanging—will unravel the mystery behind Singh’s hanging.

The matter is being looked into by the judicial officer as per Section 176 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Gupta said.

“The exact cause of death would be known only after we get the inquiry reports which also include the autopsy and forensic report,” said Gupta. The jail official have also submitted a report of the incident to home ministry.

Singh on Monday was to appear in a city court along with the co-accused Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Singh for the ongoing trial in the gang-rape and murder of the student.

Singh along with five others, including a juvenile, kidnapped, tortured and raped the student on December 16 when she boarded the bus assuming it as a public transport from Munirka for her home in Dwarka with her friend. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29 where she was flown for treatment.

(Published 11 March 2013, 02:31 IST)

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