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13 custodial deaths in five years

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SHILLONG: As many as 8 ‘suicide’ cases of arrested persons in police custody in the last five years raise doubts over the manner in which they died in police locks ups.

With the September 7 case of custodial death of 19-year-old Senuman S Marak, the number of deaths in police custody rose to 13 for the last five years in Meghalaya, out of which 8 cases have been branded as suicide.

As per a reply given by Home Minister Roshan Warjri on the floor of the House on June 12 this year, as many as 12 persons died in police custody in the last five years. With the latest case, the number is 13.

The persons who died in police custody since 2009 include Yeangthin R Marak (suicide), Sngewlemmi Kharsati ( death due to shock), Tony Peter Kharbithai (suicide), Dilip Dohkrud ( damage of intestine), Roy Symbli (suicide), Tapo A Marak (drugs related), Naresh Koch (suicide), Kitbok Kassar (suicide) Dapahlan Salanki Rupon (suicide), Yonder Mawleiñ,( death due to head injury) Nalchand Ali (suicide) and Withson M Sangma (case under investigation).

This year, the case of Balsan Marak who died in judicial custody was also reported.

In the June session, the legislators including the Opposition Leader Dr Donkupar Roy and James Sangma had asked the Government to conduct an independent study on the high rate of suicide cases in police lock ups.

Warjri had assured that the home department would carry out a study and added that the department was planning to install CCTVs in the police lock-ups.

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