19 September, 2014 / Ziqa'ad 23, 1435

india-rape-protest-AP-670
A student shouts slogans seeking punishment for rapists of the 23-year-old woman, during a protest in Bangalore, Jan 4, 2013. — Photo by AP

NEW DELHI: The main accused in the fatal gang-rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi last December hanged himself in jail Monday while in solitary confinement, prompting outrage from the victim's family.

Ram Singh, one of six people on trial over the shocking attack, was found dead shortly before dawn after making a noose out of his clothing, according to officials at Delhi's top-security Tihar jail.

“He tied all his clothes together and used the ceiling grill and a wooden stool to hang himself,” the prison's law officer Sunil Gupta told AFP by phone.

A judicial magistrate has begun an investigation into the suicide which will probe any security lapses, Gupta added.

But the father of the 23-year-old gang-rape victim told AFP it was clear that authorities had been negligent and that the family had been denied justice.

“We don't understand how could the police fail to protect Ram Singh. They knew he was the prime accused in my daughter's case,” said the father, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

“How could they let him choose the way he wanted to die? The police have failed and I wonder what will happen to the case now.” The victim's mother said she was shocked to hear of the suicide.

“I just wanted justice for my daughter. The main accused is dead. Maybe the guilt killed him?” she told AFP.

Singh was making regular appearances in a New Delhi court where he faced murder, rape and kidnapping charges over the crime which ignited street protests and soul-searching about endemic sex crime in India.

Four other men charged over the gang-rape face the death sentence if convicted in a special fast-track court, whose proceedings are subject to a media gagging order. They have all pleaded not guilty.

A sixth 17-year-old suspect is being tried in a juveniles' court where he faces a maximum three years imprisonment.

The victim, who was studying physiotherapy, died on December 29 at a hospital in Singapore, 13 days after the attack.

As well as being repeatedly raped, she was also violated with a metal bar, leaving her with massive internal injuries.

Singh, a widower whose brother Mukesh is also an accused, was the regular driver of the white private bus alleged to have been used for the December 16 crime, which was normally used to ferry school children.

Police say Singh and friends had enjoyed a meal together and had been drinking heavily before deciding to take the bus out for a night-time joyride, picking up passengers who mistook the vehicle for genuine public transport.

Another senior police officer investigating the case, who asked not to be named, insisted that the suicide would not impact on the ongoing trial.

“The (court) case will continue. There is no reason for the case to suffer,” said the officer who also confirmed that Singh killed himself at 5:15 am.

Another police officer deployed at Tihar Jail said Singh's body had been taken to the government-run Deen Dayal Upadhyay hospital and his brother Mukesh had been informed.

“We tried to save him and even employed revival techniques but failed,” he told AFP.

Singh, originally from western Rajasthan state, lived in a New Delhi slum called Ravi Dass colony where neighbours described him and his brother as rowdy and heavy drinkers.

“They were always drinking, abusing and getting into fights with us,” one neighbour, who works as a domestic servant, told AFP.


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Comments (5) (Closed)


nadeem(mumbai)
Mar 11, 2013 05:23am
Seems like the accused realized that he was in a no go situation. Having committed such a heinous crime & with the law for once catching up on him immediately, facing gallows.... must have realized that no point prolonging the situation. His life was useless & he crushed Nirbhaya's life.
johny
Mar 11, 2013 03:47am
good riddence...excellent news
BEA
Mar 11, 2013 07:28pm
Good let the rest of them follow his example.
FS
Mar 11, 2013 02:47pm
Does this bring closure to the victim and its family. I doubt it. The only possible closure would have been through trial.
Bobs
Mar 11, 2013 03:42pm
Me happy .saves tax payers money on trial