Uttar Pradesh has reported the highest number of custodial deaths among all states and Union Territories in the last two years, the Centre told Parliament on Tuesday.
In 2020-’21, Uttar Pradesh recorded 451 custodial deaths, while the number rose to 501 in 2021-’22. The total number of custodial deaths in India increased from 1,940 in 2020-’21 to 2,544 in 2021-’22, according to government data.
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai presented the data in response to a question by Indian Union Muslim League MP Abdussamad Samadani.
After Uttar Pradesh, the highest number of custodial deaths were reported in West Bengal. The state recorded 185 deaths in 2020-’21 and 257 deaths in 2021-’22.
In the last two years, a total of 396 deaths in police custody were reported in Bihar, 364 in Madhya Pradesh, and 340 in Maharashtra, according to the data.
On whether the government has set up any mechanism to investigate complaints of custodial deaths, Rai replied that the police and public order are subjects that fall under the State List in the Constitution.
“However, the Centre issues advisories from time to time and has also enacted the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, which stipulates the establishment of the NHRC [National Human Rights Commission] and State Human Rights Commissions to look into the alleged human rights violations by public servants,” Rai added in his reply.