15 July 2020
According to a report from the National Campaign Against Torture, India recorded 1,723 cases of custodial deaths from January to December 2019.
The custodial deaths of Jayaraj and his son Benicks in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin on June 22, has sparked outrage against police brutality. Reports have emerged on how the duo was tortured and sexually assaulted while in police custody at the Sathankulam Police Station.
In this regard, five police officers from Sathankulam Police Station have been arrested and local revenue officers have been put in charge of the station to avoid any tampering of evidence. Even as the case continues to remain under investigation, it has raised concerns about police brutality and police accountability.
A report from the National Campaign Against Torture points out that police brutality is not a new phenomenon in India. According to the report, India recorded 1,723 cases of custodial deaths from January to December 2019. Out of these 1,606 deaths took place in judicial custody and 117 deaths took place in police custody.
Around 74.4% of deaths in police custody have reportedly taken place due to torture. A look at how the Indian Police as an institution was formed, and the failure to implement subsequent police reforms can shed some light on why violence exercised by the police continues to be unchecked.