NCRB Data Puts Cops in Dock Over Human Rights Violations, Reveals 100 Deaths in Police Custody

New Delhi: India saw a total of 100 deaths in police custody in the year 2017 and the maximum number of deaths in in prison happened in Andhra Pradesh, where 27 people lost their lives, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) said on Monday.

Fifteen custodial deaths each were reported from Gujarat and Maharashtra. What’s more shocking is, not a single person has been convicted for the 100 deaths in 2017, data compiled by NCRB has pointed out.

Overall, the number of people who died in police custody rose by from 92 in 2016 to 100 in 2017. A total of 33 policemen were arrested and 27 policemen were charge-sheeted for these 100 deaths.

On the 26th foundation day of the NHRC on October 12, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had laid stress on all organisations working together to highlight custodial torture and deaths. In the same speech, Shah had also called for a need to redefine "human rights" in the "Indian context".

A total of 56 cases of human rights violations were registered against police personnel in 2017, 48 policemen were charge-sheeted and only three policemen were eventually convicted for their crimes. Most of these cases were of torture. Six cases of encounter killings were also listed in the data provided by the NCRB.

The NCRB further said most number of these deaths were reported due to 'suicide' of the victims. Suicide was followed by deaths due to illnesses/deaths in hospitals during treatment. Injuries sustained due to interrogation by police was listed in only 5% of the cases.

NRCB data for 2017 also showed that 2005 cases were registered against police personnel in 2017 and 1,000 policemen were charge-sheeted for various crimes in the same year. Overall, the year saw 128 convictions of police officers.

The data provided also listed 1,163 as the number of escapees from police custody in 2017. Most of them, 319 to be precise, escaped from lockups in Madhya Pradesh. The same state which saw the 2016 alleged fake encounter killings of a few inmates of Bhopal central jail. A total of 156 policemen were arrested for this negligence, of which 53 were eventually convicted.