There are different types of violence taking place around us and one of them
is custodial violence. Custodial violence is the violence which takes place in
the judicial and police custody where an individual who has done a crime is
tortured mentally as well as physically. To an extent they are broken down by
senior officials in order to satisfy the hunger of power that they have.
The human rights are at stake as custodial violence is a crime which is the
outburst against humanity and is a root obstacle in a Democratic country.
Especially in a country like India, custodial violence has become arduous and
tough to deal with as power plays a huge role which is in the hand of the police
officers who can either use the power to protect and enable laws for the
citizens or can even use the power they have for mere greed to fulfill their
desires. The cruelty done by police officers are increasing day by day as
several cases are coming up of police ferocity against the offenders and the
reason behind this is not that these police officers have any personal grudge
against them but mainly because of systematic compulsions.
And custodial violence did not start today or tomorrow, it began during the
British days if there was no tactic support of bureaucrats, politicians and
judiciary but in the recent years a change can be seen, the public, the media,
the human rights commission are taking up initiatives to improve how the
offenders are treated, they are showing concerns through activisms, huge media
coverage, making awareness and even civil society intervention is taking place
to combat the brutality of custodial violence and uphold human dignity.
It is important to punish offenders for their mistakes and make them go through
trial in order to bring the truth out but it is also important to respect their
boundaries and to not cross the line only because you have the power to misuse
it. No matter how atrocious the crime is, the criminal has all the rights to be
treated with dignity.
In a recent interview an aspiring police officer was asked what is the reason
for him to take up this noble profession and what inspired him to become a
police officer. It felt like a great honour to listen to him but it turned out
very disappointing as he said, I am going to use my power in such a manner
that I am going to beat the person who did the crime so much as well as going to
beat his parents for giving birth to a person like him.
And the reason for acting in such a manner was the power he would be getting
which he was thinking to use illegally.
Power is not just a word, it has the capacity to control people and this power
is legally given to officials to ensure the safety and not to demotivate an
individual mentally. As mental torture is the basic set back of custodial
violence, from which it could become impossible for the individual to come out
of even if they want.
There are several ways for brutality, torture and extortion which comes under
custodial violence and it can be segregated into, sexual violence, physiological
violence, different methods of torture, physical violence and various forms of
ill treatment are done to break the morale and confidence of the victim. The
code of criminal procedure, 1973 contains provisions for the safeguard of
victims who have suffered custodial violence.
It is the duty if the police officers to ensure the protection of the inmates
and provide all the facilities no matter how heinous the crime they have done,
they are humans and should be treated like humans and not animals.
Custodial violence continues to exist but with time things and mentality can be
changed in order to understand and respect the emotions of the other person and
dealing with the offenders in a sensible and mature manner so that proper,
effective and efficient justice can be provided as it is very important in a
civilized society to be treated with honour and naked violation of human dignity
should not take place.