One of the convicts in the gruesome rape and murder of a paramedical student in the Indian capital in 2012 has tried to hurt himself in Delhi’s central prison, sustaining minor injuries as a result.
According to officials at Tihar Central Prison in Delhi, the convict Vinay Kumar Sharma banged his head against the wall in his cell on 16 February, a day before the trial court issued black warrants against him and three others.
Prison officials suspect Sharma tried to hurt himself to avoid the death sentence because a medically unfit person cannot be hanged. However, prison authorities said that the warden in charge stopped him in time and took him to a hospital, where he was treated and later discharged.
They added that after the issuance of a fresh death warrant, a change in behaviour has been noticed in all four convicts who have become more “aggressive” with prison authorities.
A Delhi court had issued death warrant against the four convicts - Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26), and Akshay Kumar (31) - for 3 March, after two postponements due to legal hurdles.
All three, except Pawan, have filed mercy petitions with President Ram Nath Kovind that were subsequently rejected by him.
Six men were held guilty for the horrific crime, but the prime accused Ram Singh allegedly committed suicide in jail during the trial. Another accused, a juvenile, walked free after serving three years in a reform facility.
"Nirbhaya" or Fearless (not the victim's real name) was brutally raped on 16 December 2012 when she was returning home after watching a movie with a male friend. The crime took place in a private bus that the pair took to go back home. The victim later succumbed to her grievous injuries in a Singapore hospital, where she was transferred for advanced treatment.
The incident triggered a nationwide outcry with people taking to the streets around the country demanding justice and speedy trial for the deceased.