CCTVs in Meghalaya lockups

Shillong, Jun 13 : The Meghalaya government today announced that closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) would be installed in all police lockups in the state following the prevalence of custody deaths.

Informing the Assembly that 12 people have died in police custody in the past five years, Meghalaya home minister Roshan Warjri said while three died in 2009, one died in 2010, five in 2013 and three in 2014. Of them, 12, at least seven persons had died owing to asphyxiation.

Yeangthin R. Marak, Sngewlemmi Kharsati and Tony Peter Kharbithai died in police custody in 2009, while Dilip Dohkrud died in 2010.

In 2013, Roy Symbli, Topo A. Marak, Naresh Koch, Kitbok Kassar and Dapahan Salanki Rupon died in custody while this year, Yonder Mawlien, Nalchand Ali and Withson M. Sangma died.

To a query raised by leader of the Opposition, Donkupar Roy, Warjri said a study would be conducted on why such a high rate of suicides took place inside lockups. In all cases, magisterial inquiries were carried out and the reports sent to the National Human Rights Commission.

To another query, she said in some custody deaths, disciplinary action was taken against erring police personnel.

NPP legislator James P.K. Sangma said the home department should explore the incidents of inmates being killed by someone.

Warjri said the home department would soon embark upon a project to install CCTVs in all police lockups.