Custodial deaths in West Bengal on the rise

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The Background

The Supreme Court of India has described custodial deaths as “one of the worst crimes in a civilised society governed by rule of law”. Nonetheless, the country witnesses a high number of custodial deaths in recent times. According to a report by the National Campaign Against Torture, in 2019 approximately five people died in custody everyday all over India.

Last Monday, Sheikh Sabir Ali of Kajipara, PS- Barasat, Dist- North 24 Parganas, arrested six months back and was put up in Dum Dum Central Jail was found dead. His family has accused that jail personnel have tortured him to death. It has been alleged that he was falsely implicated in a drug related case.

In West Bengal, this is not an isolated incident. Last August, four men- Abdul Rajjak, Jiyaul Laskar, Akbar Khan and Saidul Munshi- died in judicial custody at the Baruipur Central Correctional Home, South 24 Parganas. This had happened within a week or so. All these men were arrested by the West Bengal Police. Earlier this month, Lalon Sheikh, a prime accused in the Bogtui carnage in Birbhum died in CBI custody after eight days of his arrest.

Custodial deaths, which for many a times have a political motive, is happening in India regularly. West Bengal is not an exception. On the contrary, it is on the rise. All India Secular Front (ISF) has strongly condemned the death of Sheikh Sabir Ali in the judicial custody and has demanded a judicial investigation over this incident.

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