One of the key accused in the gang rape and murder of a student in the Indian capital city of New Delhi was found dead in Tihar Jail Monday morning. The accused, Ram Singh, was undergoing a trial in the case that has dominated headlines in Indian media since December.
Singh, who hanged himself in the jail, was one of six men accused of raping and fatally beating a 23-year-old woman on a moving a bus, an incident that spurred angry protests across India and called for stricter laws on sexual assaults in Indian streets.
Singh was found hanging at around 5 a.m. local time Monday (7:30 p.m. EST Sunday).
The gang rape saw women and men standing up against ill-treatments in widespread campaigns in New-Delhi and elsewhere. One of the six accused in the case is 17 and is being tried in a juvenile court.
Singh, who hanged himself using his own cloth, was the driver of the bus in which the horrific incident took place Dec. 16 last year.
Indian television channel NDTV has called the suicide of the accused a "huge security lapse" and questioned how Ram Singh managed to kill himself despite being under a "suicide watch" in a jail that is well-equipped with sophisticated security system including CCTV camera.
The Dec. 16 attack occurred inside a bus the victim and her male friend boarded while they were returning home after watching a movie. The six men beat the male companion with a metal bar and raped the woman and used the bar to inflict multiple internal injuries on her. Both of them were thrown out of the bus later.
The 23-year-old medical student succumbed to her injuries two weeks later at a Singapore hospital.
If the accused are found guilty, they might face death sentence.
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