New Delhi: The suicide of Ram Singh, the main accused of the December 16 gang rape case, has raised several questions on the jail authorities of Tihar, who were keeping a watch on him.

He managed to dodge all eyes on him -- the guard posted to keep a "suicide watch" on him and inmates in the high-security cell in Tihar Jail here -- to end his life using the clothes he was wearing.

Tihar jail is India's highest security prison and officials there are likely to face tough questions about how such an incident could have occurred especially when the accused were under ‘suicide watch’ since January.

Singh was not alone in the cell in Jail Number three of the prisons when he used his clothes to hang himself from the grill early this morning, Jail sources said.

A guard was posted outside his cell to keep a watch on him but could not detect the happenings inside the cell. Other inmates, who were sleeping, also did not know that Singh was hanging himself, they said.

Singh and other four accused in the case were also under suicide watch since January after they stopped interacting with other inmates.

Suicide watch, is an alert that the five could possibly harm themselves. A senior officer had been told to monitor their activities.

According to the jail officials, they had stopped interacting with other jail inmates and amongst themselves.

Authorities in the Tihar Central Jail said the five -- the sixth accused is a juvenile and lodged separately -- were not even talking to one another or to others in their barracks.

A jail source was quoted as saying that the five accused just sat and brooded.

In January, a jail official had claimed that the Tihar authorities were putting all kinds of check on them to keep them away from (committing) any untoward incident.

A senior officer was known to be deputed to oversee the five. Other jail wardens were also on alert. But despite the alert, the main accused was successful in hanging himself with the help of his clothes and in the presence of other inmates, highlighting serious lapses in jail’s security.

Ram Singh, 33, the main accused and the driver of the bus where the victim was gangraped and tortured, was in a cell in Jail No. 3.

The sprawling Tihar Central Jail complex has several jails, each identified by a number. While Pawan, 19, and Akshay, 29, are held in Jail No. 4, Vinay, 20, and Mukesh, 26, are in Jail No. 7.

Ram Singh and the other four men along with the 17-year-old juvenile have been charged with raping the physiotherapy intern in the bus and also thrashing her male friend.

The two victims boarded the bus, which was plying illegally, at Munirka in south Delhi on a cold December 16 night. The victim died on December 29 in Singapore and was cremated in the national capital the next day.

Ram Singh, Pawan, Vinay and Mukesh were arrested within two days of the crime. Akshay and the juvenile were caught December 21. Mukesh is Ram Singh's younger brother.

(JPN/Agencies)

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