In 2 years, 4,484 died in police custody, 233 killed in ‘encounters’: Data

Family of Inayat Ahmed, a Kashmiri youth killed in alleged “encounter” by Jammu and Kashmir Police. Photo: Mir Faizan/Maktoob

A total of 4,484 deaths were reported in police custody while 233 people were killed in “encounters” in the last two years, the Union government told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

Uttar Pradesh is the top state where maximum number of custodial deaths were registered, while Jammu and Kashmir remained ahead in “encounters”.

Replying to a question by Indian Union Muslim League member of Lok Sabha, MP Abdussamad Samadani, the ministry of home affairs issued a year-wise and state-wise details on the number of cases registered about custodial deaths and “encounter killings” from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022, as per National Human Rights Commission data.

According to data, 1,940 cases were registered in connection with custodial deaths in 2020-21, while 2,544 such cases were lodged in 2021-22.

In 2020-21, BJP governing Uttar Pradesh topped the states with 451 people dying in police custody, followed by 185 in TMC ruling West Bengal and 163 in BJP ruling Madhya Pradesh.

In 2021-22, Uttar Pradesh was again at the top of the chart with 501 custodial deaths, followed by West Bengal at 257 and Madhya Pradesh at 201.

With 396 cases, Bihar reported the third highest custodial deaths in two years (159 in 2020 and 237 in 2021).

The Union territories of Lakshadweep, Ladakh, Daman and Diu and Dadar and Nagar Haveli reported zero cases.

Regarding police encounters or extrajudicial killings, 82 cases were registered in 2020-21, while 151 were lodged in 2021-22.

With 54 killings in the last two years, Chhattisgarh topped the chart in this regard. Jammu and Kashmir ranked second (five in 2020 and 50 in 2021) followed by Uttar Pradesh (16 in 2020 and 11 in 2021), according to data.