An NGO scrutinising allegations of police excesses in Kerala has said that it came across several instances of custodial torture and violation of guidelines for arrests.
A 'People's Tribunal' (PT) organised here by an NGO 'Peoples Watch' alleged that police stripped persons in custody and in some cases hurled caste abuses on the victims.
The five members PT, chaired by Justice H Suresh, a retired Judge of Mumbai High Court, said torture in police stations often had tacit approval of higher officials.
The NGO had documented 500 cases of alleged police torture in four districts of the state in the last 18 months, of which the PT examined 36 cases.
Its observations released to the media here said arrests were done in a routine manner without recording valid reasons in writing. It also said police torture, the 'worst form of human rights abuse', is widespread in India.
It also criticised state Human Rights Commission for failing to deliver justice to the victims of police torture.
The three-day sitting of the PT here was the first of such nine state-level sessions planned for this year ahead of holding a 'National Tribunal' on police torture as part of the National Project on Preventing Torture (PPT) in India.