ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Life Imprisonment by the State

The charges against thousands of people locked up by the State all over the country are that they believe in or espouse the ideology of Marxism-Leninism, that they reject the parliamentary system for a communist one, and that they owe allegiance to the CPI (Maoist). The government claims that it is protecting democracy and the rule of law. What happens though when the police machinery itself shows scant regard for the rule of law in the treatment meted out to prisoners it has branded Maoists?

The latest example of brazen fascism by the Maharashtra police was witnessed outside the gates of Nagpur Central Jail on 27 September 2011, the day that Arun Ferreira was to walk out to freedom after being acquitted in the last case foisted on him since his arrest on 8 May 2007. After being in jail as an undertrial for more than four years and undergoing trial in a total of 10 cases, he was acquitted or discharged in all of them and was to walk out a free man. However, just as Ferreira was stepping out of the jail at around 2.30 pm, a huge posse of plain clothes commandos and policemen gagged his mouth, covered his eyes, lifted him into a Tata Sumo without a number plate and sped away. This happened in full view of his family members, half a dozen lawyers, and media persons. Ferreira’s lawyers, who tried to intervene and question why he was being taken away, were threatened that they too would be thrown behind bars! The lawyers then lodged a complaint with the Dhantoli police station, Nagpur against the police officials who were present when the abduction took place, namely Rajput, Chouhan and Gabne. Their complaint also named the deputy jailer Yogesh Patil who acted against his statutory duties.

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