Punjab Jails Minister assures probe into custodial deaths : The Tribune India

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Punjab Jails Minister assures probe into custodial deaths

Tribune News Service

Jupinderjit Singh

Chandigarh, July 27

Jails Minister Harjot Singh Bains today said he would look into the reasons for the high number of custodial deaths in Punjab in the past two years.

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai had tabled the statewide data of custodial deaths in the Lok Sabha yesterday. Punjab reported the highest number of 225 custodial deaths in the northern region in the past two years, 2020 and 2021, followed by Haryana (158), Jammu and Kashmir (26) and Himachal Pradesh (15).

Bains said the deaths occurred during the Congress regime, which had priorities other than the safety of prisoners and the rule of law in the jails. “The Congress was spending energy on protecting gangsters,” he said, adding that he would look into the cases and fix responsibility.

Meanwhile, ADGP PK Sinha, who headed the State Prisons Department during the past two years, said most of these deaths were natural and some due to medical reasons. “About 100 inmates die in Punjab jails, which have an annual average population of 26,000. As per the rules, a thorough probe was conducted in each of the cases and barring a few cases, there was hardly any negligence in others,” he added.

Though Punjab ranks high in custodial deaths in the region, Uttar Pradesh tops the country with 852 cases followed by West Bengal (442) and Bihar (396).

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#custodial death #harjot singh bains

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