151 people died in police custody in 2021

National Human Rights Commission data shows 151 custodial deaths in India this year


NH Web Desk

The union home ministry told Parliament that a total of 151 custodial deaths have been reported in India, this year with Maharashtra reporting the highest at 26.

As Varun Gandhi, member of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sought a state-wise division of custodial deaths, Nityanand Rai, Minister of State for Home Affairs said that according to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), 151 cases of death in police custody were reported till November 15.

The ministry mentioned that Maharashtra reported a maximum of 26 deaths in police custody followed by Gujarat with 21 deaths, Bihar with 18 deaths, and about 11 deaths each in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh were reported in police custody. Meanwhile, atleast 13 states did not register any custodial deaths.

Apparently, a recent National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report had identified suicides, illness, injuries sustained before and during police custody, attempts to escape from custody among the causes of deaths in police custody.

In response to the same, Nityanand Rai, the Minister of State for Home Affairs stated, police and public order are state subjects and the Centre does not intervene directly in the matters of custodial deaths.

He stated, It is primarily the responsibility of the state government concerned to appropriately prevent and ensure non-occurrence of police atrocities and protect the human rights of the citizens. The Centre has issued advisories and the NHRC has issued guidelines and recommendations to be followed by the states/UTs in all cases of custodial deaths."

The ministry also said workshops and seminars are also organised by NHRC from time to time to sensitise officers in state governments for better protection of human rights and particularly protection of rights of persons in custody.

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