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~ Yashika Manchanda

A report mentioned that 1731 people were died in Custody during 2019 which reflects 5 such deaths daily. 1606 of the 1731 deaths were in Judicial Custody and 125 were in Police Custody. From all the states in India, UP topped in this list with 14 deaths in 2019 followed by Tamil Nadu and Punjab with 11 deaths and so on. Out of 125, 93 died due to torture by Police Staff or foul play. 24 people died under suspicious circumstances in which the Police cited 16 were died due to Suicide, 7 were died due to illness, 1 due to certain injuries and 5 due to some unknown reasons. Out of 125, 75 belonged to the poor and the marginalized communities which included 13 Dalits & tribal people, 15 Muslims & 35 were picked up for petty crimes.

As the number states that 93 were died because of the torture by the Police so when I researched about the type of acts involved in the torture by police, it was very shocking to know about such inhuman acts which are difficult to imagine even. The acts sounded more drastic than the life imprisonment kind of punishments.


Some torture methods which were most highlighted by the victims in 2019 were hammering iron nails in the body, ‘falanga’ that means beating the soles of feet, stretching the legs apart in opposite directions and hitting in the private parts. Some other methods include electric shocks, putting petrol & chili powder on the private parts, pricking with the needles, urinating in the mouth, forcing for Oral Sex, kicking the abdomen of a pregnant women and many more similar to these. Rewarding punishments is a work of the Judiciary and when the Police Officers treat an arrested person like this then at this point, we fail to respect the basic structure of our Constitution as it involves Independence of the Judiciary & Rule of Law. And the most important thing, the fundamental right to life & live with human dignity is violated. Our Law states that these rights can not be taken away even by the government in any situation.


As per the Law, when the Police arrests a person then they are required to present him/her in front of the Magistrate in 24 hours. In some cases, Police don’t follow this or otherwise 24 hours are enough to torture the accused to an extent that lead to his/her death. Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave said to reduce 24 hours time for production of accused before magistrate- "24 hours time for production before Magistrate can be made shorter in these days of technological development. Accused can be now produced within a few minutes", he said. He first reflected upon the horrific custodial killing of Jeyaraj and Bennicks in Tamil Nadu, subsequently pointing out the existing legal implications of Custodial Torture in India. He stated that in light of the above, it is incumbent upon the State to formulate a legislation that subscribes to the tenets of International stipulations against Custodial torture, which unfortunately never bore fruit.

In my opinion, these deaths are inhuman and I personally agree to the point raised by Mr. Dave, our Law tells us to protect the rights of everyone who is on the land of India. Additionally, it also states the rights of an arrested person which are being violated by the police in encounters and these custodial killings.

#custodial #deaths #encounters #magistrate

Source : The Hindu

Picture : Getty Images


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