This article is from the archive of our partner .

One of the suspects in the rape and murder of a woman in Delhi last year is in critical condition after nearly being killed by fellow inmates in prison. Vinay Sharma is accused, along with five other men, in a brutal gang rape and assault that left a 23-year-old woman dead back in December. The attack sparked international outrage and led to massive protests and demands for legal and cultural changes across India.

Sharma's lawyers says he was "beaten up and thrashed" by fellow inmates in the jail, and rushed to the hospital on Tuesday with chest pains and high fever. He was also reportedly vomiting blood. The lawyer claims that in addition to the beating, his client was slowly being poisoned at the prison, which was mixing in small amounts of poison with his regular meals since the beginning of the month.

Another of Sharma's co-defendants, Ram Singh, died in the same prison in March. His death was officially ruled a suicide, but his family has alleged that he was murdered. He lawyers say he was also beaten and even raped in prison before his death.

Despite the increase in awareness, the problem of rape does not seem to be abating, with more than 660 reported cases already this year, including several against children younger than five.

Prosecutors are planning to seek the death penalty against the remaining four adults. Another suspect, a minor, is being charged in juvenile courts.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.