Parents heard it first from kids in colony: 'Ram Singh hanged'

FP

"Ram Singh ko phaansi lag gaya, Ram Singh ko phaansi lag gaya (Ram Singh has been hanged)". That's what children shouted as they ran door to door at the Ravi Dass Camp, the shanty cluster in R K Puram Sector 3 that was home to the main accused in the December 16 gangrape case.

The children were the first to spot the news on television and assumed that Ram Singh had met an end similar to Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru who was hanged a month ago. As they ran around shouting, people began switching on TV sets. Ram Singh's father Mange Lal hurried to his nephew's home and switched on the TV, only to learn that his son had been found hanging in his Tihar cell.

Mange Lal said he couldn't decide what to do next. For that matter, no one in the colony could. Around 10.30 am, a police patrol Gypsy turned up. The policemen asked Mange Lal and his wife Rama Bai to accompany them to Tihar.

Only five days ago, Mange Lal and Rama Bai had met Singh. "He seemed fine... He has a 5-year-old son... his wife died of illness. He wanted to see his son. So, I went to the court with my grandson... He was smiling and seemed happy," Rama Bai said.

She alleged that Singh told her he was being sodomised by other inmates.

She and her husband maintained that their son had been murdered. "He met with an accident once in Lado Sarai and had to be operated upon. His right hand was dysfunctional. He had an iron rod inserted in his left hand. So how could he have hanged himself," Rama Bai said.

Mange Lal said they were not even allowed to see his body. "I fear for my other son (Mukesh who is a co-accused)... I will not sign any papers they give me for Ram Singh. They did not even let me see his body. I do not understand why we were taken to Tihar," he said.

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