The Magazine May 2013 | Page 5

Another Outrage!


Ram Singh, one of the five suspects on trial in New Delhi for December’s gang-rape case, was found dead in his cell in the capital’s Tihar Jail early Monday morning. Officials have said that the 33-year-old Singh, the alleged mastermind in the brutal sexual assault that captured the world’s attention last year, was found at 5 a.m., having hanged himself with his clothes. Singh and four other suspects have been on trial since January in a special fast-track court in New Delhi for the rape and murder of the 23-year-old physiotherapy student who, along with a male friend, they allegedly lured onto a private bus on the night of Dec. 16 and violently assaulted. (A sixth suspect in the case is being tried separately as a juvenile.) The male victim sustained minor wounds, and the female victim died less than two weeks later in a hospital in Singapore.

Singh’s death may flag yet another crack in a beleaguered criminal-justice system whose weaknesses has been on stark display as the Delhi gang-rape case has unfolded. Ram Singh was being held in a high-security section of Tihar Jail, where officials told Indian media that he and the other five suspects were on suicide watch. Jail officials told local media that Singh’s cellmates were present during the night, as was a guard. How, then, this key suspect in one of the most high-profile court cases in modern Indian history could commit suicide is the latest question that authorities will have to answer. A government probe was immediately ordered into Singh’s death.

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