New Delhi— During the monsoon session of Parliament last week, in response to a question by the Congress and TRS [Telangana Rashtra Samithi] MPs, the Minister of State for Home, Ajay Kumar Mishra, had said that atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis in the country had risen in the past two years. This week, figures on the number of deaths in police custody (custodial deaths) were presented. The data are based on information provided by the National Human Rights Commission. The data are from April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2022.
Most custodial deaths occurred in UP
According to the data presented in the Lok Sabha, in the past two years, 4,484 people died in police custody in the country. Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of such deaths. In the last year, 501 people died in police custody in UP. In the same vein, in2020-21, 451 people lost their lives while being held in custody in this state. The number of cases of death in police custody rose across the country in 2021-22 as compared with 2020-21.
Uttar Pradesh leads on the highest number of police custodial deaths in a state. It is followed by West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh. Responding to questions on custodial deaths and deaths in encounters in Lok Sabha, the Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said that as per the information given by National Human Rights, 1,940 cases of custodial death were registered in the year 2020-21. Whereas in 2021-22, this number increased to 2,544. He also said that police and public order are state subjects. The state governments are primarily responsible for ensuring the protection of the human rights of the people. However, from time to time, advisories are also issued by the union government.
Person was hanged from a tap in UP
The attitude of the police towards those detained by them is clearly apparent in the figures presented in the Lok Sabha. In this regard too, UP Police is in the worst state. In November 2021, a person named Altaf died in custody in Kasganj. The police had claimed that Altaf committed suicide by hanging himself from a string tied to the pipe of a tap. While the tap was at a height of only 2 feet. Everyone had questioned this theory of the police. On social media, people had consistently questioned the death as they expressed their anger. At the same time, Altaf’s family had accused the Kasganj police of murder. After the allegations made by the family, five police personnel of Kasganj Sadar police station were hurriedly suspended. During the time of the elections, the Allahabad High Court had ordered a re-post-mortem for Altaf. At present, more than six months have elapsed in this matter, and the investigation is still going on.
Incidents of custodial death in West Bengal
In the month of July last year, a youth named Muhammad Armaan died in police custody in the Barakar police station in Asansol, the second largest city of West Bengal. After this death, there was an uproar by family in the police station. The relatives and neighbors of the deceased Armaan Ansari stated that the police had taken Armaan in the night from his home without giving any notice. The police did not inform the family members as to the nature of the crime for which they were arrestingArmaanand taking him to the police station. The next morning, Armaan’s father was summoned to the police station and told that his son has died.
Also in the last year, tension had prevailed after the death of a 15-year-old minor in police custody in the Mallarpur area of Birbhum district. The police department had claimed that the teenager had hanged himself in the bathroom of the police station. But BJP leaders said that he was beaten up by the police. Due to which he died.
What is custodial death?
Custodial death implies the death of a person while in custody, either directly or indirectly. The reason for this to a large extent is the physical and mental torture meted out to the deceased while in custody. Death while in police custody includes deaths occurring in private or medical premises, in public places, in police vehicles or other vehicles, and in prison. It also includes death that occurs during the time a person is in the process of being arrested or detained by the police.
यहाँ हिन्दी में भी पढ़ें: दलितों पर अत्याचार के बाद कस्टोडियल डेथ के मामले में भी यूपी सबसे आगे
[Story Translated By Lotika Singha]