[…] To the state machinery, it remains a story of he said-she said, as torture in police custody leaves no witnesses besides the tortured themselves. But in this case, the accused has a medical report from Kolkata to confirm her allegations. Even then, custodial violence is endemic.
The National Human Rights Commission is on record saying that 1,574 custodial deaths took place between April 2010 and March 2011. And between 2001 and 2011, there were around 15,231 custodial deaths, according to the Asian Centre for Human Rights.
The unaccounted and the unaccountable:
Meena Khalko, 16, was killed in an alleged encounter and accused as a Maoist. Allegations surfaced that she was raped and murdered. The Chhattisgarh home minister parroted his police officials, who said she was ‘habitual about sex’ and had links with truck drivers.
The character of Ishrat Jahan, who the SIT confirms was killed in a fake encounter recently, was questioned on the basis that her checking into a hotel room with another man was suspicious.
Of 99 cases of rape allegations against special police officers or security personnel in South Bastar, the NHRC enquiry team, (which has 15 police officials out of 16 members) investigated only five. In one instance, they visited the wrong village and construed that the allegations were baseless as they ‘obviously’ couldn’t find the victims. […]