Monday 18 December 2017

Delhi rape 'ringleader' is found hanged in cell

Dean Nelson Delhi

One of the six men charged with the gang-rape and murder of a Delhi student was found hanging in his cell yesterday, hours before he was due in court.

India has ordered an inquiry into the death of Ram Singh, a 35-year-old bus driver, who was found hanging from a ceiling grill at Delhi's Tihar Jail at 5am.

A prison spokesman said three cellmates appeared to have slept as he committed "suicide". Sushilkumar Shinde, India's home affairs minister, described the incident as a "major lapse in security", promising "action will be taken". The government has been under intense pressure since a 23-year-old student died from internal injuries after she and a friend were attacked when they boarded a private bus on their way home from the cinema last December. She was gang-raped, beaten with an iron rod and left for dead on the road with 90pc of her intestines destroyed.

The victim's family voiced their own anger yesterday that Ram Singh, the alleged ringleader, had been allowed to take his own life rather than face the verdict of the court.

His family and lawyers challenged the circumstances of his death. They said he had the full use of only one of his hands following an earlier injury, which meant he could not have hanged himself from a ceiling grill 10 feet from the floor. His father claimed he had been beaten and raped by other inmates and threatened by guards at the overcrowded jailed.

"He has been killed. He wasn't depressed and wanted to fight the case. He was repeatedly beaten by police," his lawyer, VK Anand, said.

A jail spokesman denied claims that he had been on "suicide watch" but said the remaining four adults charged in the case had now been put under a "security alert" after their lawyers demanded that they be moved from the jail for their own safety.

The sixth defendant, a 17-year-old who is being held on remand elsewhere, faces a separate trial as a juvenile. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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