Ram Singh’s inquest must answer all questions

The mysterious death of Ram Singh, the main accused in the Delhi Gangrape case on Monday continues to raise questions, which do not seem to have satisfactory answers. The initial autopsy report has apparently ruled out foul play but till the investigations are completed the authorities should make no conclusive inference regarding the death. Ram Singh’s family continues to allege that his body had several injury marks and if true this is in variance with the initial post mortem findings which state that there were no ante mortem injuries.

The emphasis of the post mortem report that has been shared with the media so far has been that death was due to hanging. There is also the confirmation of a ligature mark, which has to be there in cases of strangulation or death due to asphyxiation. But the detailed report can easily establish whether it was a case of suicide or murder. The doctors have so far only stated that “death appeared to be suicidal”. But one of the doctors said that his tissues had also been sent to the forensic laboratory to rule out poisoning. This raises doubts about the cause of death and the autopsy board should have been more categorical in its findings, which were shared with the media.

What is also surprising is that if Ram Singh had indeed committed suicide as is being claimed by the Tihar jail officials, then why there was no mention of the state in which his body was. According to experts, in case of death by hanging, particularly at that hour, there must be a faecal discharge. In other words, the deceased’s clothes as also the scene of the incident should have had traces of his faeces and excretions. No mention of this was made on day one and by the time police reached, the spot may have been tampered with. Any experienced police officer can also make out what to expect in a case of hanging.

Secondly, there appears to be grave doubts on how a man with a deformed hand could make a rope so strong out of his sleeping mat without being detected and how he could hang himself from the ceiling without attracting attention. His cellmates would have surely heard the plastic bucket being kicked from under his feet and how would anyone believe that they slept through the entire episode.
Forensic experts can also easily tell by the angle of the ligature mark as to whether it was suicidal or homicidal. The family of the deceased is claiming that Ram Singh was murdered and then hung. All these questions need to be answered satisfactorily even if the deceased was an accused in one of the most heinous cases in our country. Justice has to be given to everyone.

Finally, the government must take strict view of the incident and take appropriate action against the Tihar jail staff responsible for laxity that led to this shocking death. There should be zero tolerance for such acts. The Inquest report should address all questions and come out with credibly answers.

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