The editorial “Death of a prisoner” (March 12) was good but I am afraid I disagree with the views. What would have happened had Ram Singh, the main accused in the gang rape case who allegedly killed himself, been alive? He might have been awarded the death penalty for the heinous crime he committed. Then there would have been repeated appeals for mercy from his family and the so-called rights organisations. The case would have dragged on and his death sentence might have been commuted to life imprisonment, with age acting as a mitigating factor. God perhaps did not trust our slow criminal justice system. Ram Singh’s death can be described as divine judgment.

N. Venkata Sai Praveen,

Chennai

I am not much of a fan of our police system. I am however inclined to say that Ram Singh’s death was no loss to the humanity at large. I certainly don’t care whether it is the fault of the prison authorities or not. Sure, everyone deserves dignity. The poor girl who died after suffering at the hands of Ram Singh also deserved it. He forfeited his right when he decided to rob someone else of her rights.

Tshering G. Sherpa,

Chennai

It seems difficult to believe that Ram Singh hanged himself from a 10-feet ceiling by making a rope from his clothes, despite an injury in one of his arms. It is also difficult to believe that the guards who keep a 24-hour vigil outside his cell were oblivious to the happenings in Jail Number 3. The story seems more fanciful than movie scripts.

Kanishka Pathak,

Dhanbad

Although custodial deaths of undertrials and convicts are not uncommon, Ram Singh’s death, without his three cell mates in the Tihar jail having the slightest knowledge, is shocking. That the collective conscience of the nation wanted all perpetrators of the heinous crime to be hanged is another matter. The death has exposed a major lapse in the security of undertrials.

A. Jainulabdeen,

Chennai

That an inmate committed suicide in one of the most strongly guarded prisons is shocking. It is strange that the cell mates of Ram Singh were so deeply asleep that they did not know he had hanged himself. Although Ram Singh was under trial for a heinous crime and many may even argue that the incident was a reward for his sins, it has cast a question mark on the state’s responsibility.

Tarun Girdhar,

Chandigarh

Due to lax security, the main culprit escaped punishment. The prison supervisors should at least now address the security issues.

Sreedhar Reddy Poola,

Anantapur

Everyone charged with a criminal offence is presumed innocent till proved guilty. The accused are shut away in jail primarily to protect them up to and until the legal process is complete. The sordid incident reminds us of the words of social activist Angela Davis: “Jails and prisons are designed to break human beings, to convert the population into specimens in a zoo — obedient to our keepers, but dangerous to each other.”

Mahalingam Yaaman,

Tuticorin

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