88 Custodial Deaths in India, Highest in Gujarat for 2nd Year: NCRB Report 2021

While death due to illness was the top reason for custodial deaths in 2021, suicide was the second highest factor.

Cyber Crime
2 min read

(If you feel suicidal or know someone in distress, please reach out to them with kindness and call these numbers of local emergency services, helplines, and mental health NGOs)

As many as 88 persons died while in police custody in India last year, of which Gujarat recorded the highest number of such deaths, the latest report released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on Monday, 29 August, showed.

In 2020, 76 custodial deaths were reported in India and a 13.63 percent increase has been noted in 2021.

Twenty-three people died in police custody in Gujarat in 2021 – a 53 percent rise from 15 in 2020 – as per NCRB. The western state had logged the most number of custodial deaths in the previous year as well.

Of the 23 cases in Gujarat this year, 22 deaths were reported as deaths in police custody or lock-up while they were not in remand and one died in police custody.

Nine people died by suicide, nine others due to other illnesses, two after they sustained injuries in police custody due to physical assault by police, and one died allegedly trying to escape from custody, as per the report.

The following states also recorded a high number of custodial deaths in 2021:

  • Maharashtra: 21

  • Madhya Pradesh: 7

  • Andhra Pradesh: 6

  • Haryana: 5

No custodial deaths were reported from Delhi or any other union territory.

Suicide Is 2nd Highest Factor in Custodial Deaths: NCRB

While death due to existing illnesses was the top reason for custodial deaths in 2021, suicide emerged as the second most frequent factor.

  • Death due to illness/death in hospitals during treatment: 38

  • Suicide: 31

  • Injuries sustained prior to police custody: 4

  • Injuries sustained during police custody due to physical assault by police: 6

  • While escaping custody: 3

  • Road accidents/ journey connected with investigation: 1

  • Others: 5

A total of 203 state police personnel were arrested in Gujarat in 2021 while 244 were arrested in Maharashtra.

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