76 deaths in police custody, 20 human rights violation cases registered against Police: NCRB report

The 2020 report reveals that 4 policemen were charge- sheeted last year, 8 were arrested, but none have been convicted

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A total of 76 deaths have been reported to have taken place in police custody in the year 2020, as opposed to 85 deaths in the year 2019, as per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)’s Crime in India Report 2020. The leading cause for this has been revealed to be illnesses and while getting treatment in hospitals. Only one death has been registered due to injuries sustained by physical assault (Bihar).

Other reasons include cases of death by suicide (31), injuries sustained prior to arrest (2), and while escaping custody (3). Gujarat jails have reported the highest number of deaths by suicide in 2020 with 6 such cases. Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat have reported 6 deaths each due to various illnesses, followed by Tamil Nadu at 5, Rajasthan at 4 and Maharashtra at 3 deaths.

20 cases have been registered against police personnels for human rights violations including encounter killing, deaths in custody, extortion and ‘others’. Out of this, 4 policemen were charge-sheeted last year, 8 were arrested, but none have been convicted. A total of 7 cases were registered against police officials for death in custody and 9 for other reasons, without specifying the violation.

Lathi charge killed 14 civilians in 2020

The NCRB 2020 report has also revealed that 14 civilians have died due to lathi charge by the police- 4 in Karnataka, 6 in Telangana and 4 in Delhi. Two civilians in Rajasthan have died due to police firing and 6 have died ‘accidentally in police operations and encounters”. Of these 6 people, two belonged to Haryana, two to Odisha, one to Uttar Pradesh and one was from Jammu & Kashmir.

The report also states that 20 civilians who had been termed as anti-nationals, died in police firing last year. All 20 belonged to Jammu and Kashmir. In 2019, five people died due to lathi-charge. Further, a total of 71 civilians have been injured due to lathi charge and 5 have been injured due to police firing.

Of these 71 civilians, 65 people were injured in the National Capital last year, followed by 3 cases of lathi charge injuries in Jammu & Kashmir, 2 in Rajasthan and 1 in West Bengal.


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