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Dec 16 Gang Rape: Two Death Row Convicts Seek Another Cell in Tihar

New Delhi: Two of the four death row convicts in the December 16 gang rape and murder case on Wednesday moved a Delhi court seeking that they be shifted to another cell in Tihar jail on the ground of threat from a co-prisoner.

Special Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal issued notice to the jail superintendent, where the two convicts are lodged, for January 18.

Convicts Pawan Gupta and Akshay Kumar Singh said in their application that on December 24, 2016, they were shifted to a common cell with another prisoner, who has been allegedly harassing them physically and mentally.

The plea, filed through advocate A P Singh, alleged that the two convicts fear for their lives as there was an apprehension that they could be harmed by the co-prisoner.

It said that earlier they were lodged in a separate cell where there was no danger of any attack by other inmates.

Besides shifting to another cell, they also sought action against the co-prisoner from whom they allegedly face threat.

Pawan, Akshay, Vinay Sharma and Mukesh were convicted and sentenced to death by a trial court on September 10, 2013 in the December 16, 2012 gangrape and murder case and the punishment was upheld by the Delhi High Court on March 13, 2014. Their appeals are pending before the Supreme Court.

Six persons, including a juvenile, had beaten up and robbed carpenter Ram Adhar before raping and brutally assaulting a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in south Delhi on the night of December 16, 2012. Thirteen days after the assault, she was transferred to a hospital in Singapore for emergency treatment, but succumbed to her injuries.

As per the charge sheet in the robbery case, the police had alleged that bus driver Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh, Vinay, Pawan and Akshay, along with the juvenile, had snatched the 35-year-old carpenter’s mobile phone and Rs 1,500 after luring him into the bus.

The trial court had also awarded 10-year imprisonment to the four convicts, saying they “do not deserve any leniency”.

Out of the six, accused Ram Singh had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar jail on March 11, 2013 and proceedings against him were abated.

On August 31, 2013 the Juvenile Justice Board sentenced the minor accused to a three-year stay in a special home for gangrape and murder of the girl. The juvenile, now 21-years-old, was later released from the reformation home.