A "monster" who had "shamed humanity" is how the residents of south Delhi's Ravidas Colony describe their infamous neighbour Ram Singh, the alleged mastermind of the Delhi gang-rape, with some of them admitting that they felt "relieved" after his death.
"The last few months have been frustrating for all of us and we were fed up of the media and police swarming this place. I am relieved that he (Singh) is gone forever," said a middle-aged woman neighbour, requesting anonymity.
Ram Singh, 35, who drove the bus in which the gang-rape took place Dec 16, 2012, reportedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail Monday morning. His family alleged he was murdered.
The driver's neighbour, a mother of two who lives a few shacks away from his house, said: "He would pass lewd comments and tease women irrespective of their age... you could see it in his eyes, he was a monster and I was very scared of him."
According to neighbours, Ram Singh's family - consisting of his parents and four brothers - migrated from Rajasthan and settled in the colony in the early 1990s.
Describing Ram Singh and his brothers as "hooligans", the neighbours said they did odd jobs and were a "bad influence" on the young boys in the slum cluster.
"They would often get drunk, gamble, indulge in brawls and ill-treat women. They were influencing the young boys as well," said another neighbour, adding that the driver's parents were permanent residents of the colony but their children would come off-and-on.
"He (Ram Singh) had shamed humanity and deserved this... his brothers are the same and police should throw this family out of here," he said.
A police investigation following Ram Singh's arrest revealed that he had a history of bad behaviour and was called "mental" by his friends, alluding, perhaps, to his alleged abnormal and quarrelsome nature.