Madurai

Number of custodial deaths has come down in last two years: DGP

Director General of Police C. Sylendra Babu addressing police officers at a symposium on prevention of custodial violence in Madurai on Saturday.

Director General of Police C. Sylendra Babu addressing police officers at a symposium on prevention of custodial violence in Madurai on Saturday. | Photo Credit: G. Moorthy

Though the number of custodial deaths in police stations in the State has drastically fallen in the last two years, Director General of Police C. Sylendera Babu has instructed police officials to ensure that not even stray incidents of deaths in custody are reported.

Speaking at a symposium on ‘Prevention of Custodial Violence’ here on Saturday, Mr. Sylendra Babu said CB-CID investigation revealed that the police were at fault only in 12 of the 80 cases of custodial deaths reported in the State.

“In the remaining cases, the deaths (of the accused) were due to ill-health or by suicide,” the DGP said, adding the number of custodial deaths was only four in 2021 and two till date this year.

Stating that 48 police officers had to face criminal action for those 12 custodial deaths, the DGP cautioned the police officers about the consequences they would face in the event of custodial deaths. “The police had to take the blame for no fault of theirs in many cases for the lack of awareness (in handling the accused),” he said.

Revealing that no big-time criminal had died in police custody, he said people who were brought to police station for petty charges had died. “They are psychologically broken when brought to the police station. They could have tried to end their lives many a time and they find some way or other and take the extreme step in the police custody,” he said.

The police should take extra precaution while taking people to the police station. “In one case, despite the wife pleading with the police against taking her husband, who had failed kidneys, to the police station, the police ignored her. Subsequently, he died in the police station,” he said.

Madurai City Commissioner of Police T. Senthil Kumar said any slip on part of the police due to excess action on those under their custody would bring disrepute to the entire police force and the government. The police were responsible not only for the protection of the public, but also for the safety of those under their custody.

Inspector General of Police (South Zone) Asra Garg said all the good works of the police in maintaining law and order and cracking difficult cases would look smaller if one case of custodial violence was reported. “It would be taxing for the police force to defend such incidents. Vested interests would exploit such incidents against the police,” he cautioned.

Virudhunagar Superintendent of Police M. Manohar, District Judge A.R.V. Ravi and senior advocate R. Gandhi addressed the police officials from southern districts.


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Printable version | Jul 31, 2022 7:04:18 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/number-of-custodial-deaths-has-come-down-in-last-two-years-dgp/article65592750.ece