Gujarat Records Highest Number of Custodial Deaths for Second Consecutive Year

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The data reveals that the total number of custodial deaths in the state has been increased by 120% from 2017 to 2021.

Team Clarion

AHMEDABAD — Despite much talk about Police reforms in the state, Gujarat has reported the highest number of custodial deaths among all states and Union territories across India for the second consecutive year, as per the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report of 2021.

The state recorded a 53 per cent increase in custodial deaths in a year, with NCRB 2020 data recording 15 such cases.

The data also reveals that the total number of custodial deaths in the state has been increased by 120% from 2017 to 2021.

Across India, a total of 88 custodial deaths were reported in 2021, as compared to 76 in 2020.

Among the major instances of custodial deaths reported in Gujarat, one was from back in December 2019 when Telangana native Babu Nisak Shaikh (65), a bedsheet seller who was visiting Vadodara for business, went missing from the Vadodara railway station area. A missing person complaint was filed with the Sayajigunj police station by Shaikh’s son and a habeas corpus petition was filed in the Gujarat High Court. Subsequently, an FIR was registered against six cops of Fatehgunj police station who had detained Shaikh and tortured him to make him confess to a theft. Shaikh died due to torture meted out to him. Later, his body was thrown in a canal. Shaikh’s body is yet to be found even though the entire canal was drained out.

Gujarat is followed by Maharashtra, which accounted for 21 custodial deaths in 2021.

The NCRB 2021 report records that 12 policemen were arrested in Gujarat, compared to no such arrests being made in 2020. 

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