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Delhi rape accused found dead in jail

  • A suspect in the rape and murder of a female student in the Indian capital of New Delhi, has been found dead in prison, his lawyer confirmed on Monday.

    According to police, Ram Singh hanged himself in New Delhi's Tihar jail.

    However, his defence lawyers and family claim he was murdered.

    Ram Singh, 33, was one of five men held in the rape and murder case. They all deny the charges.

    A sixth suspect is being tried by a juvenile court.

    A spokesman for Tihar jail said that Singh appeared to have hanged himself with an improvised rope made from a blanket at around 5am local time.

    An inquiry has been ordered and his body will be taken for a post mortem examination later in the day.

    The spokesman denied Indian media reports that Singh had been on suicide watch, adding that three people were sharing his jail cell.

    Meanwhile Singh's father, Mangelal Singh, has said his son had a badly injured hand and would not have been able to hang himself.

    He added that his son had been raped in prison by other inmates and threatened by prisoners and guards.

    The 23-year-old rape victim, who was not named for legal reasons, was with a male friend when she was attacked on a bus and thrown from the vehicle on December 16.

    She died in a Singapore hospital two weeks later due to massive internal injuries.

    Singh and the four other adult defendants, his brother Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur, have been on trial in a fast-track court.

    The men face 13 charges, including murder, gangrape, kidnapping and destruction of evidence.

    Singh was accused of being the driver of the bus.

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