A Delhi court has ordered special protection for Shiv Kumar Yadav, the Uber cabbie accused of raping a Gurgaon executive, after he claimed that his cellmates in Tihar Jail were threatening to kill him and that one of the inmates even came up to him brandishing a knife.
Yadav is not the first rape accused to raise the issue of safety in jails. Vinay Sharma, an accused in the brutal 16/12 Delhi gang-rape, had claimed in April 2013 that his cellmates had broken his right hand. A month later Ram Singh, another accused in the case, was found hanging in his cell. There were suspicions it was not a suicide. Both were lodged in Tihar.
Taking note of Yadav’s handwritten plea, additional sessions Judge Kaveri Baweja ordered that the accused should be provided a special enclosure in the custody van that ferries him to and fro from jail. Inspector Atul of Delhi Armed Police 3rd battalion, in-charge of transporting Yadav, said the accused has not specified who is threatening him.
Jail authorities couldn’t confirm if the 32-year-old Mathura resident had been in any scuffle with fellow inmates but did say that men accused of crimes against women are ostracised by other prisoners.
“We try and ward off physical hostility between inmates but there’s a psychological aspect. The prison is largely filled with men who have wives and sisters … rapists are regarded in a bad light in prison,” Tihar public relations office Mukesh Prasad told the Hindustan Times.
Saturday was the fourth day of hearing in the high-profile case.