Delhi gang-rape suspect taken to hospital with chest pains

NEW DELHI (AFP) - A defendant in the New Delhi gang-rape and murder trial was taken to hospital on Monday with chest pains, his lawyer said, a fortnight after his brother and co-accused was found dead in a prison cell.

Mukesh Singh was taken to Safdarjung hospital after he complained of “heavy chest pains” while in transit from Tihar jail to the court, his lawyer M.L. Sharma told AFP. 

“Mukesh was feeling heavy chest pains so police took him to the hospital.

Doctors examined him for a few minutes, told him he was suffering from gas pains and gave him painkillers,” Mr Sharma said.

Proceedings at the court at Saket in south Delhi were adjourned in the afternoon as officials waited for him to return.

Mr Sharma criticised hospital officials for their allegedly negligent treatment of his client. “When a person complains of chest pain, shouldn’t you at least check his heart? How can you just send him back saying the court is waiting? He is still hurting,” he said.

The court has asked prison officials to arrange for a doctor to visit Singh in jail, Mr Sharma added.

Singh is one of four men on trial for the gang-rape of a 23-year-old student who died in hospital in Singapore on December 29, 13 days after being savagely attacked on a bus as she returned from a movie in the Indian capital.

A 17-year-old defendant is being tried separately in a juvenile court.

Mukesh Singh’s brother Ram Singh, the driver of the bus, was found hanging in his prison cell in Tihar on March 11.

The government ordered a probe into his death after questions were raised about how he could have made a noose and hanged himself without waking the other men in his cell or attracting attention from guards.

A post-mortem concluded that he died from hanging, but did not state whether he was murdered or committed suicide as the jail authorities have insisted.

The results of the investigation have not yet been made public.