PUDR has been involved for many years in investigating deaths in custody of the Delhi Police. Most of these deaths occur due to severe beating and prolonged tortures. Torture takes place in its commonest form – beating with sticks, boots and belts. Sexual abuse, designed not only to hurt but also to humiliate is also part of police torture. Some of these cases have been highlighted in the form of published reports or released to the press. Other civil rights organizations, such as APCLC (Andhra Pradesh) and APDR (West Bengal) have also been conducting investigations in their respective states. Courts have also been making intervention in some of these cases.
It we look at the social background of the victims, most of them are undernourished people from poorer section. In custody they are denied food and water. They are subjected to detention and torture in lock ups whose sanitary condition is abominable. Under this condition, the prolonged beating in the custody often results in death.
It is not difficult to explain the cause of these deaths, with or without post-mortem reports. But what is difficult to comprehend is the rationale of police violence. Policemen during the course of their service go through the process of dehumanization which gets reflected in their exercise of power.