Monday morning news reports in the UK reported that one of the suspects held in the December high-profile rape case in Delhi, India, is dead. Ram Singh, 35, was found hanged in his cell in Tihar jail, a high-security prison. Sky News reports that Ram was in solitary confinement on suicide watch but, if that was the case, his lawyer's response is rather baffling.
Ram Singh's lawyer, VK Anand, said he was informed about his client's death by police. "This is shocking news. There were no circumstances to suggest that he would commit suicide. He was happy with the trial, it was going on smoothly," said Anand in one media report. The trial of all the suspects is underway.
The father of the 23-year-old rape victim, who died in a Singapore hospital two weeks after the attack, reportedly said, "We don't understand how could the police fail to protect Ram Singh? They knew he was the prime accused in my daughter's case. How could they let him choose the way he wanted to die? The police have failed and I wonder what will happen to the case now."
Police claim that Singh's death will not affect the trial, in spite of the circumstances. Ram Singh's legal team however question whether it was suicide or their client was murdered.
Singh was the regular driver of a white bus used during the day to transport schoolchildren. Allegedly, on the night of Dec. 16 he drove this private bus, which ultimately picked up the student, and her friend, becoming the scene of the terrible rape and attack.
The brutal rape of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi, in December, focused media attention on the city and the high incidence of brutal rape in India. It is not a new problem. Sadly, there are many reports of girls, teenagers and women being raped, and sometimes murdered in India. Many rapes occur in small villages and do not attract the amount of media attention as the December Delhi rape.
Why was the December rape so different?
The beating and rape of the couple was a horrendous attack by a group of men, but it was not the first such attack.
A male friend of the victim was also brutally attacked; but there are many other reports of equally horrific attacks and murders. Many have come to the conclusion that it was the middle-class status of the victim, a medical student, which attracted media eyes.
The victim deserves justice, but so do the many other females who suffer a similar fate. It is time that India stood firm against the treatment and abuse of women.
Whilst many in India, including women, demand the death sentence and tough sentencing for convicted rapists their words could be hollow. Apprehending the attackers and ensuring that a trial is held does not happen often enough.
Is justice going to be served in this case?
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