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Abhishek Sharan, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 12, 2013
Ram Singh, prime accused in the Delhi gang rape case, managed to elude a network of discreet watch kept on him by the prison administration.
Under the watch, Singh hanged himself from a ceiling iron bar inside his cell at sub-jail three of Tihar prison on the night between Sunday and Monday.

The “discreet watch network” was kept on Singh since his arrival in the prison in the third week of last December, said a source. It was designed to prevent Singh from doing exactly what he did. Singh, along with five others, including brother Mukesh, had allegedly raped and brutalised a 23-year-old woman on a moving bus on December 16 last year that resulted in her death.  

Like Singh, four other co-accused in the rape case, have been under discreet watch as well, said the source.

“Under a discreet watch, we employ the help of inmates as well as the jail staff — from security personnel to warders — posted at the wards, barracks and cells. They are specifically asked to keep an eye on certain inmates,” said the source.  

“Ram Singh was found hanging. A judicial probe is on. Let’s wait for its inquiry report and the post-mortem report, which will certainly answer all the questions,” Tihar jail’s Director General (Delhi prisons) Vimla Mehra told HT.

Mehra said usual precautions had been taken to prevent Singh and four other co-accused did not take any extreme step. Mehra denied that Singh was on a “suicide watch”.  

“The three cellmates of Singh had been asked to keep a watch on him as well but he managed to do what he wanted,” said the source.

“The idea was to protect Singh and the other four co-accused from getting targeted by their co-inmates as there was a lot of anger among the latter over the brutal rape. The idea was also to raise an alert if these five had shown any irregular behaviour,” the source added.

In a bid to thwart suicidal tendencies among inmates, the jail’s 10 hospitals have psychiatrists for counselling.

“Ram Singh never went for psychological counselling. But there are five psychiatrists in the jail hospitals, any of them could have helped him had he sought their assistance,” said another jail source.  There were two suicides by inmates in Tihar jail in 2012; while Singh’s act was the first such instance this year. Magisterial inquiries are conducted into every death that takes place inside the jail.