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Darkness at Dawn:
Mysterious Death of Ram Singh in Tihar Jail
|by Dr. Ratan Bhattacharjee|
The gang rape was horrendous and Ram Singh, the prime accused in the ever ignominious incident was supposed to go to the gallows publicly for the strong evidence accumulated against him. His punishment should have been an exemplary one. He should not have been spared to die secretly.
But he committed suicide in Tihar jail in ward no 5 of Jail No.3. The news was suppressed for long hours since dawn and it reached the media only a few minutes ago after the dusk. It was indeed a big lapse on the part of the Delhi police particularly when Ram Singh was the prime murder-accused in the December 16 gang rape of the 23-year-old physiotherapist, who was brutally gang-raped inside a moving bus. The girl died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.
Ram Singh was the driver of the bus and he with his five notorious associates committed this crime. Singh was arrested soon after the December 16 incident from near his home in R K Puram. Even if it is not murder as it is rumored, if it is suicide, even then, it is in both cases strange enough to occur under the very nose of police authority of Tihar jail where the Director General is a woman.
This is the real situation in our country where criminals can easily throw dust to the eyes of police every now and then. After all we are not safe even in the capital and the darkness is deeper at noon.
The country still feels ashamed to have heard of such an infamous incident of the gangrape. All are waiting for the punishment of the criminal. More security should have been there. But everyone is in surmise how the security was so slack in Tihar jail and particularly when the whole country is waiting for the verdict on the case.
True, there was no prior information that some prisoners might commit suicide. But in this kind of situation, such possibilities are very much there. So alertness and vigilance were necessary. The relatives of Ram Singh claim that he was murdered and they demand, however ridiculous it sounds, a CBI probe. As per the unwritten hierarchy among jail inmates, rapists are considered the worst offenders and are always taunted and harassed by other inmates. But this can very well be a case of suicide.
Home Minister Shinde in a routine statement said that corrective steps would be taken after getting the detailed report of magisterial enquiry. But a major lapse it was on the part of the administration. The frustration is still greater in the eyes of the people who wanted justice and punishment for the criminal. Rape crimes should not go unpunished henceforth. The reactions of the relatives of the raped physiotherapist wore an expression of shock. The prime accused deserved punishment and he escaped it for the loopholes of the Delhi police administration and the callousness of the Tihar jail authority.
Ram Singh was aware that he is going to be nailed and the strong evidence against him could by no means be quashed. The trial of the other accused ones is now nearly half the battle to be fought against the rapists. It is known to all that Ram Singh was remorseless during the investigation. The brother, however, did not blame Tihar authorities: “If someone wants to commit suicide, he will do it anyway. We cannot blame anyone,” he said.
At present the prison’s director general is Vimla Mehra, a woman herself, who still refused to reveal anything regarding the loopholes in the administration to the media on the plea of not telling anything on a sub-judice matter. Ram Singh’s family and the defence lawyer claim that there was no reason whatsoever for him to commit suicide.
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