16/09/2020 6:54 PM IST

Uttar Pradesh Reported 400 Custodial Deaths Last Year, Highest In India

There have been 1,697 cases of custodial deaths in India from April 2019 to March 2020.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Uttar Pradesh Police personnel screen commuters during the lockdown at Kursi Road, on July 19, 2020, in Lucknow.

Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of custodial death cases registered in the period from 1 April, 2019 to 31 March, 2020, according to data shared by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday. 

In a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha, the MHA said that 400 cases of deaths in judicial custody and 3 cases in police custody were reported in this period in the state. 

According to MHA data, there have been 1,697 cases of custodial deaths in the given period in India — 1,584 in judicial custody and 113 in police custody. The question was asked by Congress MP Karti Chidambaram, MP from Sivaganga constituency in Tamil Nadu.

In June, the custodial death of a father and son in Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu in June had led to widespread outrage and protests.

Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had said that they were picked up on 19 June after a case was filed against them for keeping their cellphone shop open during the lockdown. They were lodged in the Kovilpatti sub-jail.  

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told the Madras High Court last month that the father and son died due to multiple injuries. Both the CBI and Criminal Investigation Department (CID) have filed status reports in the case, according to ANI. The Madras High Court will take up the matter on 22 September.  

According to the home ministry’s data, Madhya Pradesh was next in terms of custodial deaths, with 143 in judicial custody. Madhya Pradesh also had the highest number of deaths in police custody, 14. West Bengal and Bihar also had more than 100 deaths each in judicial custody in the time period.