The number of deaths in police custody witnessed a nearly 60% increase over the last three years and 75% over the last two years across the country, data provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in the Rajya Sabha has revealed. The data also revealed that the number of such cases rose by a whopping 10 times in Maharashtra, three times in Kerala and Bihar, and two times in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka

As for the rise in custodial death cases over the last three years, the number of such cases rose from 3 in 2019-20 to 30 in 2021-22 in Maharashtra; they increased from 12 to 24 during the same period in Gujarat; from 5 to 13 in Rajasthan; from 4 to 8 in Karnataka, from 3 to 8 in UP and from 2 to 6 in Kerala.


NHRC Issues Notice to Yogi Govt Over Death of Dalit Man in Police Custody QAZI FARAZ AHMAD

The deceased, identified as Balkrishna, was a Dalit and belonged to Basi Sherpura village in Amroha's Dhanora area. His family members have alleged that the police personnel from Dhanora Mandi Police Station asked for a bribe of Rs 5 lakh to let him off and tortured him when he could not arrange the sum.
Balkrishna used to drive a white Maruti Eco car which he had purchased from Delhi last year and this car was reportedly the only source of income for the family. 

As per the NHRC notice, the report should also indicate whether any monetary and other relief has been provided to the family in accordance with the SC/ST (POA) Act and Rules.

How the ‘anda cell’ is used to discipline prison inmates   October 28, 2021
Jinee Lokaneeta writes: Although it does not exist in prison manuals, it’s a well-known element of Indian jails.

The news that eminent journalist and human rights activist and scholar implicated in the Bhima Koregaon case, Gautam Navlakha, has been moved to an “anda” circle in Taloja jail on October 12 is just another reminder that imprisonment itself appears inadequate for the state. Instead, there is a constant need to continually break the body and soul of a person by making the conditions more challenging. It is unclear whether the “anda cell” is authorised by prison manuals. At times, the arbitrariness of these actions suggest that these are the discretionary actions of “petty sovereigns”

In the Sunil Batra case, the Supreme Court wrote: “If the prisoner breaks down because of mental torture, psychic pressure or physical infliction beyond the licit limits of lawful imprisonment, the prison administration shall be liable for the excess.” The question, however, is how long can the “anda cell” and lack of basic rights be considered within the limits of lawful imprisonment?



Ill-Treatment of Stan Swamy in Jail Should 'Shake Foundation of Democracy': Fellow Prisoner 6 Jan 2022


A pretrial detainee at the Taloja central prison in the outskirts of Mumbai, who spent close to a year with 84-year-old Jharkhand-based tribal rights activist Father Stan Swamy, Iklakh Rahim Shaikh, arrested in March 2019, has written a 14-page scathing letter accusing the prison administration of ignoring Swamy’s deteriorating health conditions and denying him treatment even when he was rapidly slipping.

The letter has been dispatched to additional director general of prisons, Maharashtra, Atul Chandra Kulkarni on November 11. Shaikh, who has spent close to 60 months in jail (five years without trial!!!), says he has been lodged in an “Anda Cell”, an-egg shaped cellar, so called for its oblong shape. The cell lacks ventilation and only those considered “high-risk prisoners” are usually sent here. But several prison testimonies show that anyone defying the prison authorities is also shunted here as a matter of “punishment”.

During his stay, Shaikh says he came across several “VIP prisoners” who were accused of multi-crore banking scams, builders, drug lords and hardened criminals who without any illness and court order got themselves hospitalised. This, he claims, is done only to ensure constant communication with their family members and the world outside, which is denied to other prisoners. ..

Shaikh alleges that the jail staff has been extorting hefty amounts of money from prisoners even to make the most basic facilities available to them. “Our right to life, as guaranteed in the constitution, should remain intact even in jail. But that is not the case. Most basic facilities are also denied to us,” he alleges.

He says, while most prisoners don’t get taken for their regular court visits on the ground that there are not enough escort facilities available, the rich never face this problem. “They give the same excuse even to ferry seriously ill prisoners to the hospital,” he alleges. Shaikh’s letter sheds light on what really gets termed as “natural”. Deaths of those denied adequate and timely medical care can’t be termed as natural, he says in his letter. The NCRB data gives vague reasons like diarrhoea, schizophrenia, epilepsy, liver-related ailments and heart problems as causes of “natural” deaths. 


Poor Medical Care for Prisoners Explains Why Number of Custodial Deaths Is Only Rising  15/Jan/2020 In 2018, 1,845 people died while incarcerated. That's the highest number India has seen so far.