India saw 1,888 custodial deaths in last 20 years, only 26 police personnel found guilty: NCRB data

By: |
November 16, 2021 1:18 PM

Out of the 893 cases registered against police personnel in connection with custodial deaths during the last two decades, 518 pertain to those not on remand.

Out of the 893 cases registered against police personnel in connection with custodial deaths during the last two decades, 518 pertain to those not on remand. (Express Photo)

As many as 1,888 custodial deaths have been reported across India in the last 20 years while 893 cases have been registered against police personnel and 358 officials have been charge-sheeted, according to the official data quoted by The Indian Express. However, only 26 policemen were convicted in this period, shows the data compiled from National Crime Records Bureau’s annual Crime in India (CII) reports from 2001-2020.

The dismal record assumes significance in the wake of the custodial death last Tuesday of a 22-year-old, Altaf, in Uttar Pradesh’s Kasganj after he was detained in the case of a minor girl from a Hindu family gone missing.

Following the incident, five policemen were suspended from the Kotwali Police Station in Kasganj. They had claimed that Altaf had hanged himself with a drawstring from the hood of his jacket, using a water pipe in a toilet that is just a couple of feet from the ground.

Of the 26 police personnel convicted, the highest 11 were found guilty in 2006, including seven in Uttar Pradesh and four in Madhya Pradesh. 

According to the official data, 76 custodial deaths happened in 2020, with Gujarat reporting the highest, 15, deaths. The remaining cases were reported in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, Haryana, Kerala, Punjab and Telangana. 

Since 2017, the NCRB has been releasing data on policemen arrested in custodial death cases. Over the past four years, 96 policemen have been arrested in connection with deaths in custody. However, this data is not available for the previous years.

The Bureau’s data show that since 2001, 1,185 custodial deaths have been reported in the “persons not on remand” category and 703 in the “persons in remand” category.

Out of the 893 cases registered against police personnel in connection with custodial deaths during the last two decades, 518 pertain to those not on remand.

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