Custodial deaths and torture

Forty-seven people were killed in police custody between April and June this year across the country while there are 131 cases of torture by personnel.

Of the 47 custodial deaths, Maharashtra has the highest number of ten such incidents followed by Assam (7) and Uttar Pradesh (5).

Similarly in cases of custodial torture, Uttar Pradesh has recorded the highest of 62 incidents while Haryana and Delhi is a distant second with 14 each cases. Rajasthan had reported ten such cases between April and June this year.

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2014-15 2015-16 2016-17

(Till

June 30)

Custodial Death Custodial Torture Custodial Death Custodial Torture Custodial Death Custodial Torture
Maharashtra 26 13 24 7 10 2
Assam 7 0 15 0 7 0
Uttar Pradesh 10 145 15 246 5 62
Delhi 2 44 4 35 1 14
All India 130 431 153 493 47 131

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According to the National Human Rights Commission, there were cases of 153 custodial deaths and 493 incidents of custodial torture in 2015-16. There were 140 cases of custodial deaths in 2013-14, which declined to 130 the next fiscal.

Maharashtra has topped the list of states reporting custodial deaths in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 with cases ranging between 20 and 26. Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and West Bengal are other states in the top list where 10-15 cases are reported every fiscal.

Officials, however, claim that all custodial deaths may not be due to torture and several could be due to natural causes. Activists, on their part, say that some deaths could be avoided if those in custody are given adequate medical attention.

On custodial torture, Uttar Pradesh has the worst record as it reported 612 cases in these three fiscals. Every year it was increasing — 121 in 2013-14, 145 in 2014-15 and 246 in 2015-16.

Police in the national capital came second in this category reporting 35 to 44 such cases every year. Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha also had several cases of custodial torture.

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