HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Tihar probe into Ram Singh's death nails 3

Abhishek Sharan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 17, 2013
First Published: 00:23 IST(17/3/2013) | Last Updated: 12:36 IST(8/9/2013)

Tihar's probe into Delhi gangrape accused Ram Singh's alleged suicide has found three jail officials, including a warden, guilty of dereliction of duty.

A jail warder tasked with keeping an eye on the 33-year-old and other inmates of 20-odd cells in Tihar's sub-jail three bunked his eight-hour shift on the intervening night of March 10-11, a source said, adding: "There was no watch guard that night."

The probe, whose findings are being kept confidential, also pointed a finger at a warden of the rank of assistant jail superintendent and another watch guard.

"That night, the warden apparently stayed immobile at his position," said another source, citing CCTV footage. 

"As a result, it was a security guard of the Tamil Nadu Special police - which secures the prison's inner perimeter - who found Singh hanging at 5.45am on Monday.

The security guards periodically patrol the wards," the source said.

Singh - found hanging from an improvised rope from a metal frame on the ceiling - was allegedly depressed about the fate that awaited him, his cellmates have said.

But the jail official who assessed him found him to be of no danger to himself and did not refer him for counselling, the sources said.

When contacted, director general (Delhi prisons) Vimla Mehra declined to comment on the probe or its findings.

Tihar houses 12,113 inmates, double its official capacity, but reportedly has 280 posts of watch guards lying vacant.

All three of Singh's cellmates have claimed they neither heard nor saw anything as they were asleep in an adjoining enclosure. There was no CCTV in the cell.

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