At least 591 people died in police custody in India between 2010 and 2015, Human Right Watch reported Monday. Despite finding Indian police had been accused of torturing suspects by inciting sexual abuse, conducting derivatives of waterboarding and beating them in many cases, the reports said no officers has been convicted.
While torture is illegal in India, police are permitted to extract information from those accused by utilizing the “third degree,” which is a euphemism for allowing officers to beat prisoners during interrogation. Ninety-seven people died in Indian police custody in 2015, the report said, citing government data.
Regulations that had been created to reduce the number of deaths occurring in custody, like the necessity to present a suspect before a judge within 24 hours of his or her arrest, regularly were cast aside, the Guardian reported Monday. The international nonprofit organization’s dozens of interviews with family members of victims for the report revealed that in 67 of the cases in 2015, the deaths in custody occurred when officers failed to put the accused in front of a magistrate within a day of arrest.
The circumstances that resulted in suspects’ deaths while in custody were rarely investigated by Indian law enforcement authorities, the report said. Fewer than 32 of the deaths that occurred in custody in 2015 were pursued by Indian judicial officials while in 26 of these cases there was no autopsy performed on the bodies of the deceased.