Trends Of Custodial Torture And Deaths. An Autopsy Based Study At Metropolitan City Of Karachi.
Keywords:Autopsy, Custodial death, Natural death, Torture, Unnatural death
Introduction: Custodial death brings attention to the death of a person in the police lockup or in legal custody. Unexpected death in custody is time and again correlated with the assertion of torture. Such deaths sweep excessive scrutiny from citizens and media as well as attestation of torture by the relatives on legal department.
Objective: The aim of this manuscript is to analyze the pattern and cause of death in custodial torture and its association with age, gender, type of injuries, region of the body, and manner of death
Materials & Methods: It is a retrospective autopsy based study. A total of 112 custodial death cases were referred for post-mortem examination by magistrate from various police custody and prison custodies during the five-year study period from January 2017 to December 2021. Records were gathered from the office of the Police Surgeon in three major centers of Karachi namely Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Civil Hospital, and Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center. Descriptive statistics were run using SPSS version 26.
Results: A total of 112 custodial deaths were reported in Karachi during the five-year study period. The highest number of cases 38 (33.9 %) were in the age group 30-39 years followed by 32 (28.5 %) were in the age group 40-49 years and least was in > 60 years and above 8 (7.1 %). The majority 108 (96.4%) were males. A number of reported deaths occurred due to natural causes. Among these myocardial infarction was the most common cause found in 33 (29.4%). Hard and blunt injuries were reported among 20 (17.8%) due to unnatural causes. Skull and brain was the most frequent site affected 8 (40.0 %) due to hard blunt object injury. A maximum number of deaths 57 (50.8%) occurred in the year 2017. A tally of 71(63.3%) were natural death occurring in police custody and Jail.
Conclusion: All the prisoners should continuously be checked for any communicable and/or infectious diseases before they are shifted to jail. Measures should be taken into account to lessen the morbidity and mortality in the custody.