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Thursday , December 20 , 2012
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Hang ‘ploy’ in rape case

New Delhi, Dec. 19: A gym assistant accused of brutalising a girl in a bus in Delhi shouted in court today: “Mujhe phaansi de do (Hang me).”

The plea in the crowded courtroom came as doctors said the girl underwent the fifth surgery in three days and her gangrenous intestine was almost non-existent. ( )

While Vinay Sharma, one of the six accused in the gang-rape of the 23-year-old paramedic student, sought the death penalty for himself, he claimed that he did not assault the girl.

Co-accused Pawan Gupta told the magistrate: “I have committed a heinous crime.”

Veteran police officers said they felt the two were trying to gain sympathy and ensure they were not lynched by the public. Revulsion and outrage have been sweeping the country as grisly details of the atrocity are becoming public.

“We have also seen in the past that criminals indulge in such confessions thinking that the court will be lenient towards them,” said a senior officer.

Rajan Bhagat, Delhi police spokesperson, said normally some accused resort to such confessions out of fear that they would be lynched. “They seem to be repenting after realising the magnitude of their crime. But usually criminals do such things to gain sympathy,” he said.

Vinay confessed moments after he, along with Pawan and Mukesh, brother of chartered bus driver Ram Singh, were produced in a south Delhi court.

But Pawan, a fruit-seller, and Vinay refused to undergo the identification parade.

“I beat up the boy (the victim’s friend) but did nothing to the girl. Hang me,” Vinay said when the magistrate asked him the reason for not agreeing to the identification parade.

“I do not want to undergo TIP (test identification parade) as I have committed a heinous act,” Pawan told the court.

The court remanded Vinay and Pawan in four days’ police custody while sending Mukesh to 14 days’ jail custody for undergoing TIP. Yesterday, the court had remanded driver Ram Singh, the main accused, in five days’ police custody.

The two other accused —Akshay Thakur and Raju, both bus cleaners — are still absconding. All are aged between 20 and 30.

A Delhi police team today detained the father and the brother of Akshay in Bihar’s Aurangabad. Akshay’s father is a farmer, while his brother is unemployed.

All the six accused lived within 40 metres of each other in a south Delhi slum — Ravi Dass Camp, near RK Puram.

Ram Singh lived with his brother Mukesh and parents. A few years ago, he had eloped with a married woman with three children from the neighbourhood. The woman died two years ago.

Pawan lived with his three siblings — two of them sisters aged 12 and 13. The family sells fruits and vegetables at a stall in RK Puram. Vinay is the son of a Group D employee of Indira Gandhi International airport.

“All the accused lived with their parents and had younger siblings, including sisters. Ram Singh was known for drinking inside his cramped room with the five others and fighting with neighbours. But the neighbours said they had no idea the youths were capable of such an inhuman act,” said a police official.