Ram Singh, the prime accused of December 16 gangrape and murder case who allegedly committed suicide in a high-security prison in Tihar on Monday, may have taken the extreme step between 3.30 am and 5.45 am while his four other cell inmates slept.
According to jail officials, he might have hanged himself between 3.30 am and 5.45 am, as everything appeared normal till 3.30 am, when change of guard took place.
At about 5.45 am, one of the guards from Tamil Nadu Police saw the body of 35-year-old Singh hanging from a rod which was about 8 feet from the ground, jail sources said, adding he apparently used a bucket kept in the cell. Buckets are provided to every inmate.
There were four other inmates sleeping in the cell but they apparently did not hear anything, they said.
The inmates told the officials that Singh appeared quite normal yesterday and had his food. They did not find anything amiss, the sources said.
The high security prison has close circuit television camera installed but "it is in the corridor and not in the cell, where Singh was lodged", the officials said.
Singh and his five associates, including a minor had raped a girl in a moving bus in south Delhi after brutally beating her and also her male friend on December 16 last year.
The girl died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.
Singh's family had last him last Friday, his lawyer said.
Singh's father, Mange Ram and other family members visited Tihar jail at around 1.30 pm on Monday.
They were allowed to stay there for about two hours and see the body. Later they were asked by authorities to leave around 3.15 pm.
Later, at around 4.30 pm, Singh's body was taken to All India Institute of Medical Sciences for post mortem, which was earlier planned at Deen Dayal Upadhayay Hospital, the sources said.