Four custodial deaths daily over the last decade (India)

Custody Celloriginally by: Tehelka
published: 21st November 2011

A report by the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) has brought into sharp focus the issue of custodial deaths again. According to the report, “Torture in India 2011”, four custodial deaths occurred daily over the past decade. A total 14,231 persons died in police and judicial custody in India from 2001 to 2010—1,504 deaths in police custody and 12,727 in judicial—according to the cases submitted to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

During the ten-year period, Maharashtra recorded the highest number of deaths in police custody with 250 deaths, followed by Uttar Pradesh (174), Gujarat (134), Andhra Pradesh (109), West Bengal (98) and Tamil Nadu (95). “Though Maharashtra has a total population of 112 million in comparison to 199 million in Uttar Pradesh, according to 2011 census, the fact that 76 more persons were killed in police custody in Maharashtra shows that torture is more rampant in Maharashtra than Uttar Pradesh,” Suhas Chakma, director of the ACHR, pointed out.

UP tops in judicial custody deaths with 2,171 deaths, followed by Bihar (1,512), Maharashtra (1,176), Andhra Pradesh (1,037), Tamil Nadu (744), Punjab (739), West Bengal (601), Jharkhand (541) and Madhya Pradesh (520).

“About 99.99% of deaths in police custody occur due to torture within 48 hours of victims being taken into custody,” Chakma said. Shockingly, figures for Jammu and Kashmir show that only six custodial deaths occurred during the same period.

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