Arun Fereira's mysterious re-arrest has exposed the state's complete disregard for human rights yet again. His lawyers, who were manhandled by police outside the Nagpur Jail on Tuesday, have alleged this in a complaint to the administrative judge of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court, the chairperson of the State Human Rights Commission and the superintendent of central prison, Nagpur.
They have demanded strict action against what they have called "the police's high-handedness." In 2008, Fereira was implicated in a case where 11 students from Chandrapur were arrested for links with the Maoists. Though Fereira was in jail, his name was added as an accused. Like in the past, on September 23, he was acquitted in this case too. "There were no other cases against him and we were waiting to meet him on Tuesday afternoon outside the Central Prison, when we saw a huge posse taking positions," recounts advocate Anand Gajbhiye. "We asked deputy jailor Yogesh Patil the reason but he began abusing us," he added.
While the lawyers were surprised at what they call 'Patil's unprovoked aggression', he summoned plainclothesmen to clear them.
The reason for the prison authorities ‘strange’ behaviour became clear when it was time for Fereira to be brought out. "Some plainclothesmen forcibly pulled him from the jail gate, held him by his neck and pushed him into a Tata Sumo with no registration plate, and left the jail premises," said the complaint, adding that distraught family members, who were witness to all this, were not even allowed to meet him. The lawyers then confronted Yogesh Patil and his team members about the re-arrest.
The complaint also stated that Patil was irate when reminded that they were violating Supreme Court directions.