Jammu: Surprising it may sound but it’s true that National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has not recommended any compensation or disciplinary action in all the incidents of 47 custodial deaths, both police and judicial, that have taken place in Jammu and Kashmir since 2016.
“As per the information received from the NHRC, a total of 47 custodial deaths–two police and 45 judicial—have taken place in Jammu and Kashmir from 2016-17 to February 28 this year. The maximum custodial deaths have been reported in the current year 2021-22 when a total of 15 such incidents (14 judicial and one police) were reported,” Union Home Ministry’s official statistics tabled in the Lok Sabha revealed.
Over the monetary compensation recommended by the NHRC during the last five years and current year up to February 28, Ministry of Home Affairs disclosed that the NHRC did not recommend even a single case for compensation for the period, while no disciplinary action or prosecution was also recommended in all the cases of custodial deaths in Jammu and Kashmir.
In Ladakh, no incident of custodial death has been reported during the last five years while Uttar Pradesh accounted for the highest cases in the country.
In the current year 2021-22, NHRC recorded a total of 2,152 cases relating to deaths of persons in judicial custody and 155 relating to deaths in police custody.
Pertinently, the NHRC guidelines suggest that every death in custody, police or judicial, natural or otherwise, is to be reported to the Commission within 24 hours of its occurrence. If an enquiry by the Commission into custodial death discloses negligence by a public servant, the Commission recommends to authorities of Central/State Governments for paying compensation to the Next of Kin (NoK) and also for initiation of disciplinary proceedings/prosecution against the erring public servant.