Teen Point of View

Increasing menace of custodial deaths

SEPTEMBER 2019 TOPIC: The Federal government should enact uniform laws to curb the increasing menace of custodial deaths. Comment.

Custodial deaths reveal one of the most inhumane faces of the police administration. There are many instances of torture and deaths in custody all across the globe. In the past 5 years, about 320 personnel were found blameworthy and were castigated for custodial killings in Jammu and Kashmir. Large sections of police have come to accredit that the only way to perform their role as peacekeepers is to use violence against criminals. This needs to change.
Anjali Meena
Sophia Sr. Sec. School, Bhilwara

The centre and state governments should form a common structure to deal with people in police custody by enacting uniform law applicable to all States. Kerala has seen five such cases of custodial death recently. The reasons for these deaths might be immature thinking, short-sightedness, pressure or force from the side of police that enforces an individual into such repressive measures of quitting life.
St Joseph’s Convent School, Jalandhar

Custodial deaths are serious because they question the very safety of the citizens in a place like the police station. It also puts a question mark on the extent of freedom of the police with regard to questioning the suspects in a case. It is possible that a suspect who has been arrested might not even be the culprit, and is subjected to inhumane torture which is an absolutely heinous crime in itself. The Federal Government should put up uniform laws so as to protect the rights of people held for questioning so that no innocent dies and as well as the accused are punished by the proper enacting of the laws of the nation.
Senjuti Saibal Bhattacharya (18)
A C Patil College of Engineering, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai

Custodial violence is not a recent phenomenon. Custodial crimes and torture of persons in police custody are heinous and revolting as they reflect betrayal of custodial trust by the public. There is a pressing need to control this malady. The victims of the custodial crimes, torture, injury or death, mostly belong to the weaker sections of our society. The Human Rights Cells established by the government should play a more proactive role in improving conditions in prisons.
Shivani Samdani
Sophia Sr. Sec. School, Bhilwara

According to the data provided by the National Crime Records Bureau, India saw 1,557 custodial deaths between 2001 and 2016. This necessitates a uniform law to halt the reprehensible trend. The prison staff need to be held accountable. The kin of the victim deserve due compensation. Regular inspections of prison conditions must be made by the National Human Rights Council. India must also ratify UN Convention Against Torture.
Shailja Pandey

Custodial violence is among the worst crimes in civilized society. It is a blatant violation of human dignity. Third degree torture and custodial deaths, rapes, molestations, etc., have become an intrinsic part of police investigations and the injury inflicted on the inmates is sometimes unbearable. The government should pay heed to this issue, and enforce laws to prevent this inhuman practice.
Palakshi Kalra (12)
St Joseph’s Convent School, Jalandhar

Custodial torture is a flagrant violation of human rights leading to thousands of deaths. The government should ensure legal aid to the detainee immediately. It should also ensure the accountability of the police and encourage NGOs to create awareness. Moreover the strict implementation of “The Prevention of Torture Bill” will go a long way in curbing this menace. Every prisoner has a fundamental right to life, the violation of which is a blot on our constitutional ideals.
Gurleen Kaur Chona
Mount Abu, Rajasthan

Custodial violence and abuse of police power have emerged as a major issue of human rights concern and one of the big obstacles to democracy and development of human well-being in contemporary societies. It is a crime against humanity and a naked violation of human rights. A large number of cases of police brutality takes place not because of individual aberration, but because of systematic compulsions. It is the duty of the prison administration to provide proper facilities to prisoners.
Sargun Kaur (13)
St Joseph’s Convent School, Jalandhar

A suspect is kept in lock-up before being produced in a court and does not have the legal protection accorded to those under judicial custody or jail. The government should make some laws to provide security of the suspect’s life even in jail. In the last decade, Maharashtra has recorded 250 deaths in police custody, followed by Uttar Pradesh (174), Gujarat (134) and Andhra Pradesh (109). These three states alone account for 37 per cent of total custodial deaths in the country. The government should make strict laws to stop this and should ensure that the accused is presented in the court alive, and at the earliest.
Nandini Tibrewal
Sophia Sr. Sec. School, Bhilwara

Besides death, rape and torture are two other forms of custodial violence. Considering the gravity of the situation, there is a strong need for better custodial management. The role of police personnel is crucial in this regard. There should be an adequate number of medical and women personnel in prisons. The government should take up this matter on a priority basis.
Tamanna (14)
St Joseph’s Convent School, Jalandhar

Yes, I think it’s important because we are hearing a lot these days about custodial deaths. An accused is taken into police custody only to enquire about the crime he committed, not to kill him with physical and mental torture. There is a need for the government to take severe action against those involved.
Keerthi Shri B. S. (16)
Infant Jesus Matric Hr Sec School, Chennai

Since British rule, people have been dying in police custody. Though the authorities are legally bound to provide necessary amenities and ensure the safety of the inmates by providing them a healthy environment which includes timely medical assistance, the real scenario is different from what the legal implications suggest. It is also seen that the people belonging to the poorer sections of society face this more often. To avoid custodial deaths, CCTV cameras should be installed inside the lock-ups. As the practice is inhuman, uniform laws should be made by the Central government.
Abhishi Birla
Sophia Sr. Sec. School, Bhilwara

A custodial death means torturing or even killing a person in the prison or in the custody of police. Prisoners who are arrested by the police shouldn’t be tortured or killed by the police. The police or people have no right to take the life of a prisoner. People who take the lives of such innocent people are the biggest criminals. A law must be passed in the parliament to avoid such cruel deaths.
Samarth Chawla (14)
St Francis De Sales School, New Delhi

Custodial death is the event of demise of an individual, who has been detained by the police. The occurrence of custodial deaths in the world’s greatest democracy has raised eyebrows of every citizen and has shaken their very faith in democracy. Physical harassment to obtain confessions is illegal and needs to be discouraged at all levels. The time is now ripe for Indian government to consider laws against torture and declare a commitment to human dignity.
Guneev (12)
St Joseph’s Convent School, Jalandhar