Let off by courts, but back in jail | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Let off by courts, but back in jail

mumbai Updated: Oct 10, 2011 01:43 IST
Presley Thomas

"I am back in the same cell…and the inmates have been very kind to me…Mummy and Sanju (his brother) do not get tense," reads a letter Arun Ferreira sent to his family members in Bandra.

Ferreira, who was arrested in May 2007, and charged under nine cases of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for his alleged association with the Communist Party of India (Maoists), was acquitted of all charges on September 23.

On September 27, however, when he was to step out of the Nagpur Central Prison, unidentified people forcibly pulled him from the jail gate, covered his mouth with their hands, held him by his neck, dragged him, pushed him into a car and left the jail premises.

After a period of two hours, Fereirra was shown arrested in another case where Maoists had fired at a police patrol party in 2007 within the jurisdiction of Purada police station. He was later produced before a magistrate's court.

The Maharashtra police preferred to remain silent about this case till the day of Ferreira's release. This, despite the fact that the Supreme Court has held that when an accused is released on bail, a re-arrest soon after without informing the court that granted bail is illegal.

While senior police officers in Maharashtra police said it is necessary to furnish details about the cases in which an accused is arrested in the beginning, the anti-naxal operations wing of the police thinks otherwise.

Sunil Ramanand, additional commissioner of police (anti-naxal operations) said, "There is nothing illegal in the arrest of Ferreira. We have a certain amount of discretion, and it is up to us whether we want to arrest an accused a day after the crime is committed or after three days."

Ferreira's is not the only case. There are around 10 such cases where people acquitted of charges levelled against them are re-arrested.

Surendra Gadling, Ferreira's advocate said, "It would be an exception if a person accused of being a naxal gets out of the jail, and is not arrested. There are numerous cases similar to that of Ferreira in Maharashtra, where police agencies have adopted a similar modus operandi."