Chhattisgarh – Bastar tribals demand CBI probe #indigenous

Rashmi Drolia, TNN May 9, 2013

RAIPUR: Enraged tribals of Maoist hotbed Narayanpur district in tribal Bastar region of Chhattisgarh are demanding a CBI probe into the alleged police encounter of two villagers in Maronaar village near ChoteDongar on April 30.

A joint team of COBRA battalion, CRPF and district force claimed to have gunned down Maoist cadres of Duala Dalam Phool Singh and Jai Singh. Since then police have been facing severe protest from 84 villages in the vicinity against the killing.

Talking to TOI, Panniram Wadde, president of tribal Gond community in Bastar said, “On the night of April 30, town inspector Vijay Chelak and sun-divisional officer of police B N Baghel dragged three brothers of the family to the police station and after brief interrogation, police relieved Ram Singh, keeping Jai Singh and Phool Singh in the custody. Next morning their mutilated body was found in the jungles of Maronaar, few kilometre from the police station. Aged between 30 and 35 years, both the villagers were involved in farming.”

Wadde said, the police had also claimed to have found four muzzle loading guns, one USA made pistol, one country-made pistol, couple of grenades and tiffin bombs, detonators and Naxal literature in their camps, but the fact was that they were dragged empty-handed from their homes. Panniram alleged that the police had fabricated the encounter by beating them and made them wear Maoists uniforms, killing them in the forests.

More than 10,000 agitated villagers from 84 nearby villages gheraod the police station in protest demanding CBI probe in the case. “Not only did the police kill them, they also buried both the bodies in the same ditch after conducting post mortem,” Panniram said adding that the body was not handed over to the family.

Comrade Niti, commander south Bastar CPI (Maoist) called up newsmen at midnight, to point out that it was not the first time that police victimized innocent villagers. “When they fail to trace Maoists they assault villagers and kill them fabricating the incident as an encounter. This time too the police have killed two innocents. CPI (Maoist) strongly condemns the incident,” she said.

In another incident, a member of Gond community, Pramod Potai, said that more than 30 villagers of Kukrajor region, 10 km from Narayanpur, were admitted to a hospital after being brutally beaten up by the police. “The CRPF base camp was attacked by Maoists on the intervening night of Tuesday opening firing at policemen. Though there were no casualties, soon after the incident police came to the village thrashing them for not passing them information about planned firing,” said Potai. Condition of five villagers is said to be critical.



Tihar’s sinister labyrinths– Torture, custodial deaths, negligence and rampant corruption

 — India’s high security prison has all this and much more reports G Vishnu

G Vishnu

G Vishnu , Tehelka

April 5, 20l  

Tihar jail. File Photo

After 35-year-old Ram Singh, one of the accused in the infamous 16 December Delhi gang-rape case, was found hanging in his cell in Jail No. 3 of Tihar, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde called it a major lapse in security. The minister would do well to read this story.

TEHELKA has found out through interviews and testimonies of former and under-trial inmates of Tihar that torture, sodomy, custodial deaths, negligence, and rampant corruption — India’s highest security prison has all this and much more. Even though questions have been raised on the circumstances around Ram Singh’s death, nobody is surprised that it was possible in Jail No.3, which houses close to 4,000 of Tihar’s 13,000 odd inmates.

TEHELKA went through the testimonies of inmates who detailed their ordeal inside Tihar for a public interest litigation (PIL). Sample this from Samrat*: “On 14 January 2012, I was cut across my face with a sharp weapon. It is the duty of the jail officials to take care of under-trials, protecting them from inmates who have such violent behaviors. But unfortunately the jail officials often turn a blind eye to such inmates in exchange for the greed of money,” he says.

“We both are educated and know our rights. He is being subjected to torture because we decided to complain to authorities about the things that happen within those walls,” said Samrat’s wife, speaking on the condition of anonymity. She further reveals that she was asked to pay a bribe of Rs 5,000 to get a relative’s name in the Mulakaat List (list of outsiders who are allowed to interact with the inmates). Another former inmate says he had to pay a bribe of Rs 50,000 to a high-ranking official to get a better place to sleep. “In a place where a pouch of tobacco that otherwise costs Rs 20 can be bought at about Rs 500, coercion becomes a skill to survive for convicts,” he says.

For 39-year-old Jacob Philip, an NRI from Dubai who had spent a decade in the USA, torture stared at him the day he entered Tihar. “I entered the designated ward on 20 September 2008. I had no place to sleep as the place was overcrowded. That night I saw 10-15 inmates beating a fellow inmate in front of everybody. I found later that he was being beaten because he had the audacity to say ‘bye’ to others after getting a bail that day,” says Jacob.

Absurdly, Jacob ended up in Tihar under the Extradition Act. Under the act, the enquiry on the accused cannot continue for more than 60 days. Yet, Jacob ended up spending three and a half years inside Tihar, until he was acquitted and finally released on February 25, 2012. “I used to help people write their bail applications and appeals. At the same time, I also knew the powerful people inside. During my time inside, I saw things I cannot even begin to describe. I can say without exaggeration that I saw at least a thousand cases of torture perpetrated on weaker inmates by stronger ones with tacit and sometimes open support from Jail authorities,” he adds. “In Tihar, nobody is accountable. Nobody is answerable. How can anybody expose anything?”

Jacob describes Tihar as a parallel world with its own set of rules. He was lodged in Jail No. 4 of Tihar. The ward behind his is 4B, a punishment cell (kisuri ward in Tihar parlance). Jacob spent countless nights hearing screams of inmates being tortured. Convicts running the ‘chakkar‘ (Control room, but also refers to torture), armed with sticks and blades, would beat up fellow inmates. Motives would range from extortion and punishment for non-conformism. Sometimes, even jail guards would join.

Mohammed Amir, who spent 10 years in Tihar as a terror accused before his acquittal in 2012, confirms all the above and more. Amir claims he was subjected to torture by fellow inmates, who attacked him at the behest of some jail officials. “You cannot expect Tihar to be a correctional facility. Everybody there has a very criminal mindset,” he said.

Three inmates also spoke about the economics of sodomy inside Tihar. “There’s forceful sex for extortion. And there’s sex that inmates often indulge in for money. Some pay in fear of forceful sex. Some indulge in sex in order to earn a little,” said a former inmate on the condition of anonymity.

Journalist Iftikhar Gilani, who documented the sinister world inside Tihar in his book My Days in Prison, agrees that Tihar is hardly a place to reform. “Here criminals are brutalised. Under-trials spend years inside and convicts run the place.India does not understand the point of having its prisons. The people who man these prisons know nothing about criminal psychology or social science — key elements for helping prisoners to reform,” he says.

Iftikhar was not merely a witness to torture. He had been wrongfully arrested, accused of being an ISI agent in June 2002 and spent close to nine months in Tihar. “I was beaten up inside the jail superintendent’s office the day I arrived there. In the subsequent days, I was put in solitary confinement. I was also made to clean the toilet with my shirt. On a particular night, when I was really sick, one of the wardens said “marne do usse” (let him die), when my fellow inmates called for help,” recalls Iftikhar.

The shocking negligence that Iftikhar recalls from his days in prison are still prevalent as is obvious from the case of Santosh Kumar, who died on 25 February last year. An inquiry report by district and sessions judge IS Mehtain has observed that Santosh died due to negligence on part of the jail authorities. Santosh had consumed acid some years ago, which damaged his oesophagus to an extent that he could never consume solid food again. He was completely dependent on a liquid diet, which was being administered using a feeding tube inserted into his stomach. Arrested in December 2010 and lodged in Tihar, Santosh was denied four liters of milk that was due to him as per court orders. By December 2011, his health had completely deteriorated. Despite the Patiala Sessions Court order, the jail authorities failed to provide him medical treatment, ignoring Santosh’s pleas. On 16 January, Santosh was taken to AIIMS where he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. His treatment however started only on 7 February. Within three weeks, Santosh was dead. He had spent his last days writing letters to authorities to provide him the required medical treatment.

While the National Human Rights Commission has received a multitude of complaints regarding human rights violations and custodial deaths inside Tihar over the last five years, some inmates are battling it out in the courts. A particularly determined inmate is 60-year-old Christopher Rozario, who in a petition to the Delhi High Court, has alleged that he has been repeatedly tortured by jail authorities. Christopher claims to be a PhD holder from Cambridge and a former employee of Kerala University.

However, Sunil Kumar Gupta, Chief PRO of Tihar rubbished Christopher’s allegations. Gupta also rejected all the other assertions. “There might have been isolated instances of torture. I can guarantee that things have changed over the last year. There’s no blade-baazi these days. We have reigned in on the ‘chakkars‘ and convicts do not enjoy the same powers as earlier. We have complete transparency in place,” he said responding to TEHELKA’s queries.

Former top cop Kiran Bedi, credited with bringing several reforms feels that bringing more technology would go a long way in making Tihar a less brutal place. “Add more transparency. Bring more cameras. You won’t find corruption. You will give convicts space to reform,” she says.

G Vishnu     


#DelhiGangRape – Defeating Justice


JUSTICE  | 17 MARCH 2013  |  Gautam Patel 

Allowing, even by inaction or inattention, the death of one of the accused in the Delhi gang-rape case is an assault on the justice system.

Ram Singh Suicide :: Unanswered questions<br />Image courtesy Times of India

Ram Singh Suicide

Unanswered questions
Image courtesy Times of India

Ram Singh, the prime accused in last December’s ghastly gang-rape in New Delhi, is said to have hanged himself from a ventilation grill in his cell in Tihar Jail. The officials call it suicide, but the improbabilities are impossible to ignore. There were other inmates in the cell. None, it is claimed, heard or saw anything. There was a guard on duty outside the cell, which has a grilled door through which the entire cell is visible. The guard saw nothing though, in the normal course, he’d have walked past this cell at least five times between the time Ram Singh was last seen alive and when he was found dead. The ventilation grill from which Ram Singh is said to have hanged himself is much higher than he could have reached, given his height. He had an injured right arm. There are far too many questions here. None lend themselves to a satisfactory answer.

For a day, and just for a day, before it was eclipsed by matters of greater import to the people who seem to be able to decide these things for us, the news occupied our television news channels and the front pages of our dailies. Reactions varied, but the most appalling were the ones in tweets and mails running along the television tickers, that claimed that ‘justice has been served’, that ‘there’s one rapist less’, that he got what he deserved.

What happened in Delhi last December was horrifying beyond imagination. It should never have happened, and that it did happen, and in the way it did, and the public responses that followed should have been sufficient indicator of what is now at stake for all of us. The incident was the immediate trigger for a long overdue look at overhauling the criminal justice system. A sterling report came through in record time. Reading the report, there is little doubt that three jurists on the committee and their team were all impassioned and determined to see justice done, to help set in place a more balanced and just system. One might cavil at some recommendations and argue even that the Committee paid insufficient attention to cases of false complaints and made no provision for these; but that this was a major step in righting a historical wrong that is perpetuated daily cannot be denied. The government too, acted with uncommon despatch in introducing a Parliamentary bill, whatever its merits or demerits.

These are institutional responses, and institutions have a sense — sometimes perhaps not as acute as it should be — of gauging what needs doing and when. Institutional urgency is not, of itself, always populist. Responding with alacrity to a grotesque situation that cries out for reform is not populist if that response does not pander to a public thirst for revenge and proposes, instead, to correct systemic imbalances; speed does not always imply thoughtlessness, and to dismiss the government’s bill only on that basis is naïve.

Indeed, the institutional responses have been very different from those on social networks and in the media. These show a growing societal impatience with our justice system that is as frightening as it is dangerous. People only talk of the judicial system’s delays and moribund procedures, never of the things it does achieve in the face of inhuman workloads and abysmal manpower (on which more on another day). Slavery may have been abolished in law but it seems to be alive and kicking in the judiciary, the only difference being that in the judiciary you actually volunteer for slave duty.

By definition, a lynching is an extrajudicial execution (usually by hanging); bypassing the justice delivery system to get to an immediate result that satisfies the mob.1 A popular response to extreme situations or incidents — a response that should cause great worry — suggests that all we need to do to achieve ‘justice’ is to get to a predetermined result, and not worry too much about the route there. Getting to the what without minding thehow is nothing but a lynch-mob mentality, and it is now the defining trait of those of a certain stripe. The class has different forms. Social media is the natural habitant of one such form, also identifiable by its incapacity for anything but the most bovine thought, its persistence in substituting personal invective for argument, its inability to tell reaction from reason, protest placards from profundities. Given its additional inability to go much beyond 140 characters of what masquerades as thought and discourse, this type is, while irritating, generally harmless. Public outpourings of rage and grief are understandable — it is very difficult to resist the temptation of countering a monumental tragedy and horror by doing something equally barbaric.

Far more dangerous and insidious is the second type, the one that comes at us night after night on prime time television news broadcasts, hectoring, inquisitorial and judgmental. An anchor much given to screaming the most mundane headlines (and even the day of the week), once said in another context that his channel had “irrefutable documentary proof” of somebody’s guilt or culpability. Did he? What he had were some pieces of paper. Did these constitute proof in law? Were those pieces of paper admissible? Were they even relevant (yet another legal test)? Is there one kind of “proof” for 9 pm television and another kind for law? Without any of this being examined, somebody or the other was pronounced, at least by necessary implication, guilty. There remained only the question of the sentence, the trivial stuff that can well be left to judges after the serious grunt work has been done and dusted on national television. Why go to court when you can just turn on your TV set?

There is something about this medium that fertilizes imbecility. Another famous TV show host with claims to a long pedigree and a foreign degree once asked one of India’s most pre-eminent criminal lawyers how he could justify representing someone he knew to be guilty. The lawyer’s response was epic. I am not a court, he said, and neither are you. Guilt or innocence is for courts to decide, not me, and certainly not you. The host did not seem to be able to wrap his head around something this basic, his foreign degree notwithstanding. The perils of television mob-rule should be apparent; in this forum, where there are no rules and no standards, or are just made up as we go along, anyone could be found guilty of anything. Aayushi Talwar’s parents have been adjudicated guilty of her murder. Why are we bothering with a trial?

Indian society is no stranger to the kangaroo court culture. Mobsters do it, deciding matters of unrepaid loans and property boundaries. Local village councils dispense their own perverted forms of justice to uphold ‘honour’. Policemen attempt to mediate and arbitrate civil disputes. Community leaders are often called on, by popular demand, to decide these matters. In many cases, these ad-hoc kaazi are forums of choice, not compulsion: they are quick, they are accessible, and it matters little that the person deciding these issues has no background in law but is trusted to do what is just, fair and right. That, really, seems to be the key: a matter of trust. It is reasonable to expect newspersons to know better and to do better. When news stations turn themselves into glorified kangaroo courts — j’accuse seems to be the only guiding rationale — and are accuser, judge and jury all rolled into one, what we are being told is simply this: that our judicial system is useless, that the third limb of democractic governance has failed all of us, and that it is therefore now up to the Fourth Estate to don the mantle. This is, of course, self-serving, rank nonsense. Our embattled judiciary has monumental arrears, not because there are only historical cases, but because each day of each year more and more litigants choose to come to court. How this can be said to be an indicator of a loss of confidence in courts, or justify the extra-judicial antics of prime-television, is an enduring mystery.

This is where the trial of Ajmal Kasab redounds to the credit of the judiciary. Here was classic fodder for a lynch-mob. The institutions stood firm. Kasab was given a trial. There are those will say it was unfair, but that is inaccurate. The trial court’s handling of the matter was not just text-book — it is the text book.2 There was no fudging of evidence, no slurring over of inconveniences or the facts, no distortion of the law, no delay. It is impossible to say that justice was not served or done or that, in the face of the atrocity that was 26/11, a day on which so many of us lost friends and colleagues, and when a shorter route to harsher punishment might even have been excusable, the judicial system did not provide ample reason for a re-affirmation of our faith in it.

There is far more at stake in the Delhi gang-rape case than the fate of individuals. Can our system respond in an appropriate and just manner to such cases? What must we do to ensure the safety of our citizens, and what form should the remedies we must provide take? What is the value of a particular form of punishment?

And most of all, this: that the measure of any just society is not how quickly it deals out an extreme punishment, but how evenly it deals with those who stand accused of the most heinous crimes. This is a collective trial of our society. Allowing, even by inaction, one of the accused to be killed like this robs us all of a chance at redemption.




#DelhigangRape – Death reveals dark side of Indian detentions

Alleged prison suicide of key accused in gang-rape case reignites debate on the alarming number of deaths in custody.
 Last Modified: 13 Mar 2013 08:45, aljazeera

Indian police stand guard at one of the gates of the Tihar Jail in New Delhi on Monday after Ram Singh‘s death [Reuters]
New Delhi, India – The death of the prime suspect in the Delhi-gang rape case in his jail cell has turned the spotlight on a disturbingly high number of deaths in Indian prisons.

Officials at the high-security Tihar Jail say Ram Singh, 33, committed suicide early on Monday while four other inmates in his cell slept. Singh allegedly used a blanket hanging from a metal rod on the ceiling 2.5 metres high to hang himself, officials say.

Singh was one of six people on trial for the shocking gang-rape on a moving bus of a 23-year-old female student last December in New Delhi. The woman later succumbed to her injuries after she was thrown from the vehicle after her two-hour ordeal.

The case stunned the nation, drawing mass protests against violence against women and calls for new laws to curb such abuses.

“It is an appalling lapse on the part of the prison authorities that a prisoner on the watch list, with other inmates in his cell, hung himself to death and the guards too did not notice anything.

– Suhas Chakma, Asian Centre for Human Rights


After reports of Singh’s death flooded out, questions were soon raised about how the bus driver could have committed suicide in a room full of inmates in a maximum security facility with a guard on duty.

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde admitted a “major lapse in security” over the incident, adding an inquiry would be established to investigate.

Defence lawyer VK Anand alleged Singh was killed. “I suspect foul play in my client’s death, and I do not think he could commit suicide. There were no such circumstances that could force him to commit suicide.”

Singh’s parents also said their son would not have taken his life and demanded a judicial probe. His mother, Kalyani Devi, said her son was repentant and ready to face justice.

“He confessed about his mistake, then why would he commit suicide? He was prepared for any punishment the government would have given him,” said Devi.

Though a subsequent autopsy points to Ram Singh’s death by hanging, speculation about the exact causes behind his death has not subsided.

“It is an appalling lapse on the part of the prison authorities that a prisoner on the watch list, with other inmates in his cell, hung himself to death and the guards, too, did not notice anything,” Suhas Chakma, director of the Asian Centre for Human Rights, told Al Jazeera.

Four custodial deaths a day

Singh’s death has highlighted the large number of inmates who die in India’s justice system.

Statistics from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) show from 2001 to 2010, 14,231 died in police and prison custody in India – about four deaths per day.

According to the latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau, 1,332 prisoners died in India’s jails in 2011 – 93.4 percent of which were “natural deaths”. Sixty-eight inmates committed suicide and eight were killed by other prisoners. “Deaths due to firing”, “Assault by outside elements”, and “others” accounted for the 12 other “unnatural deaths”.

But the Asian Centre for Human Rights said in a 2011 report that “a large majority” of custodial deaths “are a direct consequence of torture in custody”.

Police take the gang-rape accused to court in January [AFP]

The actual number of prison deaths is likely far underreported, the group said.

“These deaths reflect only a fraction of the problem with torture and custodial deaths in India, as not all the cases of deaths in police and prison custody are reported to the NHRC,” the group said in report titled “Torture in India 2011”.

A Ministry of Home Affairs official declined to comment on this story.

Akhilesh Kumar, National Crime Records Bureau chief statistical officer, said, “Our main duty is to compile the numbers and we have no comment over causes … and what they reflect.”

Praful Bidwai, a New Delhi-based human right activist, told Al Jazeera that the impunity of police and prison officials when it comes to violence against inmates must be challenged.

“Custodial maltreatment, torture or killing cannot be curbed unless the deeply criminalised police and law enforcement authorities are made accountable,” Bidwai said.

Policing law enforcers

Tihar Jail where Singh died is the largest prison in South Asia – and severely overpopulated. Tihar houses some 12,000 inmates, overshooting its capacity by about 6,000 prisoners. In 2012 Tihar recorded 18 inmate deaths, two of those said to be suicides.

Another problem with India’s justice system is the astonishing lack of urgency when it comes to due process. Once ensnared in India’s court system, the wait for justice can be an arduous one.

A backload of more than 20 million cases is now before the country’s courts. Bail is often refused for serious offences, and there are no mechanisms to compensate the wrongly accused who spent years jail awaiting trial.

Worse still, everyone agrees that conditions inside the jails border on the horrific. Ram Singh’s father, for one, has alleged that his son was sodomised by other inmates. Others, including a Delhi professor who spent months in Tihar as a suspect for alleged links to a deadly attack on the Indian parliament in 2001, have narrated their nightmarish experiences.

Since acquitted, Iftikhar Geelani still carries the scars of his hellish incarceration, during which he says he was routinely abused and forced to wear an excreta-splattered shirt with which he was ordered to mop a filty toilet.

Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director for New York-based Human Rights Watch, told Al Jazeera local human rights workers have repeatedly expressed concern about torture and custodial killings. She said most incidents occur in police custody, rather than in prison facilities.

“In jails, we have heard more about ill treatment by fellow inmates or guards, particularly against terror or rape suspects,” Ganguly said.

Tackling the criminality of police and prison authorities is one way to curb custodial torture and death in India’s justice system, activists say.

Bidwai said other than meting out stiff punishment for law enforcement officers who abuse prisoners, other methods need to be employed such as sensitivity training towards inmates.

“Custodial maltreatment, torture or killing cannot be curbed unless the deeply criminalised police and law enforcement authorities are made accountable.

– Praful Bidwai, human rights activist


Having neutral observers during interrogations, and disallowing confessions to the police as evidence would also weed out “rogue elements among police and prison authorities”, said Bidwai.

“Such steps will send the right message down the line,” he added.

However, with much of the public unsympathetic to the plight of those jailed, it will be hard to convince politicians to enact the necessary legislative changes, Chakma of the Asian Centre for Human Rights said.

“The lack of political will to stamp out custodial torture runs across all political parties,” said Chakma.


PRESS RELEASE-State Repression on Punjab farmers: an offensive response to democratic protest

March 10, 2013

PUDR Press Statement

Democracy within its value frame assumes the right to protest as a vital means towards ensuring the guarantee of those rights and values it stands for. However, today we are witnessing a different ‘culture of democracy’ where the right to protest is increasingly becoming not just an empty notion, in fact, protest itself is being turned into an offence. The mass arrest of members and activists of 17 peasants’ and workers’ organizations in Punjab as a preventive act of securing law and order situation is symptomatic of this different ‘culture of democracy’.

On 6 March, members of these organizations had decided to jam rail traffic under their state-wide ‘Rail Roko’ agitation to push for their long pending demands after witnessing a prolonged response of apathy from the government. The farmers have been demanding an increase in the Minimum Support Price based on the price index, as per the Swaminathan Committee report, more subsidies for the poor and checks on the hike in prices of diesel and other farm inputs. Government responded in pre-emptive confinement of those involved with the agitation, under the name of protection law and order situation. Early in the day, Punjab police arrested Jagmohan Singh (provincial General secretary, BKU Ekta_dakaunda), Dr. Darshan Pal and Satwant Singh Wazidpur, Patiala distt. president & secretary of BKU (Ekta Dakaunda) Darshan Lal, state secretary of Dehati Mazdoor Sabha (CPM Pasla); Ruldu Singh, president of Punjab Khet Union; Harmesh Malri, state president of Pendu Khet Mazdoor Union; Kanwalpreet Singh Pannu, state convener of Kisan Sangharsh Committee (Piddy); Nirbhai Singh Dhudike, Moga president of Kirti Kisan Union; Gurmeet Singh Bakhtupura, AICTU state president and during the day, another 1353 persons were rounded up. Houses of many Union activists were raided and many were detained to be either released by the evening or sent to Judicial Custody.

This act of police repression is an attempt to quell the protest aimed at securing what has been due to the farmers and workers for long. In the given political climate of state repression we apprehend fabrication of false charges against those participating in this people’s movement. The forebodings of such acts are clear in ending into a deterred space of struggle for democratic rights, something that defeats the end that democracy is meant to achieve. PUDR strongly condemns this act of repression by the state elite and demands the immediate release of the activists. PUDR also extends solidarity with protesters and their demands.

Asish Gupta and D. Manjit
(Secretaries, PUDR)


#India – Delhigangrape accused Ram Singh’s death a security lapse: Home Minister

TNN | Mar 11, 2013,

Delhi gang-rape accused Ram Singh's death a security lapse: Shinde

Delhi gang-rape accused Ram Singh’s death a security lapse: Shinde
NEW DELHI: Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Monday said that rape accused Ram Singh’s death under mysterious circumstances was a major security lapse but he refused to reveal further details as a magisterial probe is underway.”It is a major lapse in security, certainly it is not a small incident. Action will be taken,” home minister Sushilkumar Shinde told a press conference in the capital.

“I cannot come to the conclusion at this moment whether it is a suicide or not before inquiry, he said.

Earlier in the day, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit also met home minister Sushilkumar Shinde to discuss the incident.

Ram Singh, main accused in the horrific gang-rape case of 23-year-old physiotherapy student on December 16, 2012 which caused massive nationwide outrage, allegedly committed suicide in a high-security cell in Tihar Jail early on Monday morning, raising questions over monitoring of undertrials.

Significantly 33-year-old Ram Singh, who had a slight deformity in his right hand after an accident, hanged himself from the grill of his cell in jail No.3 using his clothes, jail officials said.

“Singh was not alone in the cell when he committed suicide. Other inmates were present and a guard was also posted. But nobody came to know about it. Around 5am, he was found hanging,” a senior jail official said.

Prone to violent behaviour and mood swings, he had suicidal tendencies and was under “suicide watch,” he said.

Singh, who was to be produced before court for its daily hearing, was rushed to the jail hospital where he was declared brought dead. His body was taken to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital for post mortem.

The news of his death immediately triggered demands from his lawyers and family for a CBI probe. They alleged that he was murdered inside the jail and refused to believe that he could have committed suicide.

“There were no circumstances which could have led to Ram Singh committing suicide. There was no mental stress. He was very happy,” his lawyer VK Anand said. Lawyers for the defendants had previously accused police of beating confessions out of the men.


#Delhigangrape- Prime accused Ram Singh’s ‘suicide watch’ had been lifted #joke #WTFnews


11th March 2013 04:45 PM

Ram Singh, the prime accused in the Dec 16 gang-rape case who reportedly hanged himself in the Tihar Jail, was removed from ‘suicide watch‘ a few weeks ago, officials said Monday.

The 35-year-old along with four other accused were put on ‘suicide watch’ after they stopped talking with other inmates and with each other, a Tihar official told IANS.

“The alert was lifted when we found he and others were behaving normally and were not showing any sign of depression. They were eating normally and looked ok. We then lifted the suicide watch,” the official said.

Officials refused to say when the alert was lifted but said it happened “a few weeks ago”.

Ram Singh was found hanging from the grill in his cell at around 5.45 a.m. Monday. He was warded in ward no. 5 of Jail no. 3.

He shared the cell with three other inmates, also facing trial. The prison officials refused to reveal their identity.

Officials said Ram Singh had been speaking to his prison mates till 2.30 a.m. None of them heard or saw him hanging himself.

Ram Singh was the driver of the bus in which the 23-year-old woman was raped by six males, including his younger brother.

The six, including a minor, also thrashed the woman’s friend and later threw them out of the bus bleeding and without clothes. The student died of internal injuries in Singapore two weeks later.


#Delhigangrape: Prime cused Ram Singh Commits suicide in Tihar Jail #Vaw

:Who was Ram Singh?

Delhi, Posted on Mar 11, 2013 a

New Delhi: Ram Singh, who was found hanging at 5 am on Monday inside his cell in the Tihar Jail, was the main accused in the Delhi gangrape-murder case in which a 23-year-old paramedical student was gangraped inside a moving bus and her friend was beaten up. He was the driver of the bus in which the girl was gangraped on December 16, 2012.

Ram Singh had refused to undergo a test identification parade after he was arrested soon after the brutal gangrape. He had also allegedly expressed apprehensions about getting justice in Delhi and wanted the trial to be shifted out of the national capital.

Ram Singh, along with other four accused in the case, was charged with murder, gangrape, destruction of evidence, criminal conspiracy, dacoity, unnatural sex and common intent in the case. Ram Singh was lodged in Jail No. 3 of the Tihar Jail and was reportedly under suicide watch.

His lawyer, VK Anand, said Ram Singh was under no stress and was happy with the way the trial was going. Ram Singh was not under mental stress. I do not think there was any reason for him to commit suicide.” “I am shocked to hear this news. There were security concerns, so we wanted the case to be transferred out of Delhi, but Ram Singh was not under stress,” Anand added.

#Delhigangrape: Victim fighting to get better, but remains critical

DELHI, Updated Dec 20, 2012 at 07:21am IST

New Delhi: The condition of the 23-year-old paramedical student, who was gangraped, beaten and thrown out of a moving bus along with a male friend in Delhi, is still critical. Doctors say that she is still on ventilator support and is fighting to get better. The victim has in fact given a complete written statement to the police, explaining in detail what happened to her from the time she and her friend got onto the bus on Sunday.

One of the two absconding suspects was on Wednesday detained for questioning in Aurangabad, Bihar. Meanwhile, three of the accused were produced in a Delhi court on Wednesday and confessed. One of the accused, Vinay Sharma, went on to plead for a death sentence.

Vinay Sharma, an assistant gym instructor and Pawan Gupta, a fruit seller have been sent for custodial interrogation while Mukesh, who was allegedly driving the bus when the crime was being committed, has been sent to Tihar Jail in judicial custody after he agreed to undergo test identification parade (TIP). Mukesh is the brother of another accused Ram Singh, who was on Tuesday remanded to five-day police custody after he refused to undergo TIP.

Vinay and Pawan, however, have refused to undergo TIP, the criminal procedure in which the alleged offender is brought before witnesses and victims for identification. After being produced before Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Namrita Aggarwal, the trio were sent to court of Metropolitan Magistrate Sandeep Garg for following the procedure for conducting the TIP.

When the judge asked whether they would volunteer to undergo TIP and if not why, Vinay said, “he had beaten up the boy but did nothing with the girl” and went on to say “mujhe faansi de do (hang me)”, while Pawan told the court, “I do not want to undergo TIP as I have committed a horrible act”. The magistrate after completing the process for the TIP said,”Accused Mukesh has submitted that he wanted to undergo TIP. Police be directed to conduct his TIP on December 20 at 3 pm Central Jail, Tihar.”

Meanwhile, a team of Delhi Police has detained Akshay Thakur, who is also accused in the gangrape case, in Bihar’s Aurangabad district. The accused had absconded to his native place after committing the crime along with five others, four of whom have already been arrested. One of the accused is still on the run and police teams are trying to trace him.

Both the victim, a paramedical student, and her male friend, who had boarded the chartered bus with tinted glass windows from Munirka in south Delhi to Palam around 9.45 PM on Sunday night, were assaulted with an iron rod by the men after the two resisted before they were dumped on the road side near Mahipalpur flyover, police said.

The victim continues to fight for her life. Doctors treating her say some of her vital organs have been permanently damaged and she’s suffering from a blood infection. She has been on ventilator support now for over 60 hours now. A medical bulletin is expected on Wednesday evening.

(With additional inputs from PTI)


Delhi gang-rape: Rapists wanted to ‘teach girl a lesson’ #WTFnews #Vaw

Edited by Prasad Sanyal | Updated: December 18, 2012 16:39 IST NDTV

Delhi gang-rape: Rapists wanted to 'teach girl a lesson', say police sources

New DelhiThe six men who raped a Delhi student on a bus had decided to “punish” her for trying to stop them from attacking the male friend who was accompanying her, police sources said.

Four of the men have been arrested; two are missing and the police are searching for them in Rajasthan and Bihar, sources said.

The men, including the bus driver Ram Singh, had taken out the bus for a joy ride on Sunday evening. They spotted the student and her friend at the Munirka bus stop in south Delhi and called out to them saying the bus was headed to Dwarka, where the woman lives.

On the bus, the sources said, an argument began when the accused asked the man what he was doing with a young woman at that time of the night. The police sources said because she fought back hard, the assailants decided to “teach her a lesson”.

The police said a man employed as a carpenter too has come forward now to say that the men on the bus used a similar ruse to rob him of Rs. 8,000.

Less than an hour before the rape incident, the men on the bus reportedly called out to the carpenter in R K Puram sector 4, and offered him a ride. He got on and was robbed, he has alleged.

The man was then dumped out of the bus on the busy outer Ring Road near the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, the police said, and the bus turned around to head towards Munirka, where the student and her friend boarded it.


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