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India: Torture, rape and deaths in custody

Index Number: ASA 20/006/1992

This report describes in detail AI’s concerns about torture, including rape, and deaths in custody in India. AI has recorded 415 deaths in detention since 1987; in each case the evidence suggests that the victims had been beaten or otherwise tortured. Torture and deaths in custody appear to be widespread in areas where the government faces armed opposition – Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Assam and the northeast states – where it can be used to obtain confessions and gather intelligence, as well as to deter or to avenge attacks by armed groups. Adivasis (tribal people), dalits (members of scheduled castes) and members of minority groups, e.g. Muslims, feature prominently among the victims. Women from these groups, including young girls, are reportedly frequently raped in detention.

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