The main suspect in the gang rape and fatal beating of a woman on a New Delhi bus, an attack that horrified Indians and set off national protests, has committed suicide in jail.
Ram Singh, accused of driving the bus on which a 23-year-old student was raped and fatally assaulted by a group of six men in December, hanged himself with his own clothes, a police official at Tihar jail said today.
Singh, along with four other men on trial with him on rape, murder and abduction charges, had been under a suicide watch, the official said. The sixth accused is being tried and jailed separately because he is a juvenile.
If convicted, they could face the death penalty.
The police official, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to talk publicly on the matter, said the five were being held in separate cells in separate buildings at the jail.
The woman and a male friend were attacked after boarding the bus on December 16 as they tried to return home after watching a film, police say.
The six men, the only occupants of the private bus, beat the man with a metal bar and raped the woman, according to the police.
The victims were dumped naked on the roadside, and the woman died from her injuries two weeks later in a Singapore hospital.
The brutal attack set off nationwide protests about India’s treatment of women and spurred the government to hurry through a new package of laws to protect them.