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'Assaulted' Delhi gang rape accused fears return to Tihar

April 06, 2013 20:46 IST

One of the accused in the December 16 gang rape on Saturday again pleaded the special court hearing the case not to send him back to Tihar alleging he was assaulted by prison security personnel, who have threatened to kill him, a charge denied by the jail authorities.

Accused Vinay Sharma, who suffered a hand fracture on Friday, requested Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna not to send him to Tihar alleging that jail officials have threatened to kill him by hanging him in his cell on Sunday.

Vinay's advocate A P Singh told the court that his client has been threatened by the jail's security personnel whom he quoted as saying "Today, the media and lawyers can save you, but who will save you on Sunday as you have to stay in Tihar only."

Sharma was lodged in Tihar Jail along with four other accused following his arrest on December 18 last year. One of the accused Ram Singh was found dead in his cell on March 11 with police claiming that he committed suicide by hanging. The matter is under probe.

The superintendent of Jail No 7 in Tihar, Lokesh Chandra, who was directed by the court on Friday to explain as to how Vinay suffered the fracture, refuted the allegations that the accused was attack in jail and claimed he was injured during a fight with one of the co-accused Akshay Singh in the van while returning to the prison from court.

The prison authorities, in their report, said Vinay and five other undertrials, who are lodged with him in a cell, are kept under 24 hours CCTV surveillance and it was not possible that other inmates had hurt him.

The report also said that Vinay made contradictory statements in various hospitals regarding his medical status and this proves that allegations made by him are "false and mischievous".

"In the light of contradictory statements of the patient prisoner (Vinay) in various hospitals, the allegations levelled in the application are totally false, mischievous, unfounded and for ulterior motive," it said.

Vinay, who had on Friday come to the court with a fractured hand, had alleged that he was badly beaten up by the inmates.

Vinay on Saturday told the judge, "If you want to kill me, kill me here but don't send me to Tihar in any condition."

His counsel contended that on Friday night he was taken out of his cell by the jail's security personnel who beat him up badly and issued death threats. He alleged that Vinay and Akshay were not provided food on Saturday as Vinay had refused to write a letter to the judge saying that he suffered the injury in a fall.

The superintendent, however, dismissed the allegations that the security personnel had assaulted the accused or threatened to kill him.

After taking note of the Tihar Jail official's report, the court kept its order pending for Monday and has asked Chandra to ensure the safety and security of all the four accused in the prison.

Meanwhile, accused Pawan Gupta said that he should not be shifted from Tihar to any other jail.

The court also recorded the statement of a prosecution witness, a Delhi police official, who had arrested Mukesh and had seized his clothes and CCTV footage of the hotel from where the alleged bus, in which the gang rape took place, had passed.

Accused Mukesh's counsel cross-examined the witness and claimed that the police had planted false witnesses in the case as it has not made any members of the general public as a witness in the matter.

Initially, five accused in the case were facing trial for allegedly gang-raping and assaulting a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012.

The proceedings against the main accused Ram Singh were abated after his death and the remaining four adult accused Mukesh, Vinay, Akshay and Pawan are facing trial in the case for rape and murder of the girl.

The sixth accused in the case is a juvenile who is facing proceedings before the juvenile justice board in New Delhi.

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