Experts argue that in a society using torture to assert power and influence, use of violence by the state and its functionaries is but natural
The country’s history is tainted with horrific tales of custodial torture. From activists and politicians to common people, the list of victims of custodial torture is long and shameful. And these tales are not limited to the dictatorship eras the country has seen. Elected political governments have also used the police as a force that has employed custodial torture as a tool to suppress dissent and settle political scores. At times, the police have used the weapon on their own for far more than this.
It goes without saying that a society exposed to torture and abuse at almost every level becomes immune to the concepts of violence at some stage. Perhaps, we have too? Experts argue that in a society using torture to assert power and influence, use of violence by the state and its functionaries is but natural. After all, as one expert notes in our report: police officials draw their social attitudes and behaviours from the same society, from the same larger societal culture.
There has been much talk of reforms. But without a political will and a legislative mechanism that holds law enforcing officials to account there can be little progress made. Our Special Report this week looks at the prevalence of custodial torture in police stations across the country as well as suggestions for reforms from experts that could help purge the police force of these inhumane practices.