New York, December 20 (KMS): The global human rights watchdog, Human Rights Watch has said that police in India often bypass arrest procedures and torture suspects in custody to death.

Human Rights Watch in a 114-page report released, today, said that at least 591 people died in police custody in India between 2010 and 2015.

It said that instead of holding police responsible to account, authorities have stalled reforms needed to build a more rights-respecting force. “Bound by Brotherhood: India’s Failure to End Killings in Police Custody” examines police disregard for arrest regulations, custodial deaths from torture, and impunity for those responsible. It draws on in-depth investigations into 17 deaths in custody that occurred between 2009 and 2015, including more than 70 interviews with victims’ family members, witnesses, justice experts, and police officials. In each of the 17 cases, the police did not follow proper arrest procedures, making the suspect more vulnerable to abuse.

“Police in India will learn that beating suspects to confess is unacceptable only after officers are prosecuted for torture,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, the HRW South Asia director. “Our research shows that too often, the police officers investigating deaths in custody are more concerned about shielding their colleagues than bringing those responsible to justice,” she said.

Pertinently, the use of torture and other ill-treatment by police and the failure to provide justice to victims of abuse violate India’s obligations under international human rights law. India has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and signed the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. India has also signed but has not yet ratified the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which seeks to deter torture and other grave abuses against persons in custody.

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