Vinay Sharma, one of the six convicts facing the death sentence in the December 16 gangrape case, attempted suicide in Delhi’s Tihar jail on Wednesday night, officers said on Thursday.
Sharma allegedly consumed a heavy dose of anti-depressant medicines before trying to hang himself from an iron grill using a towel in jail number 8 around 9.30pm, sources said. Sharma has been under depression for the last few months and taking medication, they added.
A Tamil Nadu special policeman, who was on duty near the cell, saw Sharma attempting suicide and raised an alarm. The jawan stopped Sharma and removed the towel he had tied around his neck.
Sharma was rushed to the dispensary within the jail complex by other security personnel who arrived at the scene. Doctors there administered him medicines and he was taken to Deen Dayal Upadhyay hospital for further treatment and tests.
His condition was stated to be stable. Doctors said an assessment of his spine and breathing was normal.
“Usually in cases of hanging, the spine snaps from the cervical or the neck region. There might be obstruction in the airway too. So, when such a case comes in we first stabilise the spine and then intubate the patient if there is any obstruction,” a doctor said on condition of anonymity.
Hospital sources said Sharma would be discharged by evening.
Senior Tihar jail authorities have ordered a probe into the incident, sources said. A case of attempt to suicide may be registered against him, said a police officer.
Last year, Sharma told a Delhi court that he was beaten up by his fellow inmates and asked for security citing risk to his life. His lawyer said that he was beaten up “very badly” by five or six inmates jail on August 15 and 16. He said Sharma fears a risk to his life as some inmates “openly” issued murder threats to him.
In March 2013, Ram Singh, another accused in the gangrape case, was found hanging in his cell at Tihar Jail. Jail authorities claimed that he committed suicide. However, his family members alleged that he was murdered and hanged in his cell.
Six men - one of them a juvenile - have been convicted for the rape and gruesome murder of a paramedic in a moving bus on December 16, 2012.
The torture and subsequent death of the 23-year-old, who along with her friend was on the way home after watching a movie at a south Delhi cinema hall, shook the nation. The crime prompted thousands to come out in protests across the country.
Four convicts - Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Mukesh Singh and Pawan Gupta were sentenced to death in the case. The juvenile accused was convicted and sentenced to a maximum of three years in a reformation home.
He was released from the observation home in December last year.
(With inputs from Anonna Dutt)