NAGPUR: Top Naxal cadre Arun Thomas Ferreira has been granted bail in the case registered at Purada police station, for which he had been arrested in a dramatic manner as soon as he stepped out of Nagpur Central Jail in September end. Last week, Ferreira was granted bail by the principal district judge, Gadchiroli. The court has asked Ferreira to furnish a surety of Rs 50,000.
Arrested in May 2007 with three others in the city, Ferreira was charged with offences related to Naxal movement across the state. The offences, however, could not be proved against the Mumbai resident, and he was acquitted in nine cases.
Ferreira was acquitted along with others by the sessions court in Chandrapur in September in a case where he was charged for being an active member and spreading anti-state activities in urban centres under the garb of a youth-based patriotic organization ‘Deshbhakti Yuva Manch’. He was released from Nagpur Central Jail along with Bandu who too was facing trial in the same case.
However, Ferreira was whisked away by the police team waiting outside the jail. The cops forcibly kept his lawyers and family members away before taking him away in a van. Ferreira’s lawyers, including Surendra Gadling, had complained against the forcible taking away of his client before the Dhantoli police station. It was later revealed that Ferreira was booked by Purada police in a case of firing at Kurkheda in March 2007.
Ferreira’s counsel advocate Jagdish Meshram said that Gadchiroli district court has granted bail to his client. “We had argued before the court that Ferreira was caught in May 2007, some four months after the offence for which he has been booked. Purada police had filed the charge sheet in the case, but did not mention Ferreira’s name. Similarly, he was also not taken into custody using a production warrant too. Then, why was he arrested after the release?” he said.
This case would be tried in Gadchiroli, said Meshram. He said that Purada police have now booked Ferreira in another case which would be tried in Nagpur.
Ferreira’s wife Susan Abraham had lambasted the government for its cynicism and violation of the constitutional guidelines. “Judiciary is acquitting people like Ferreira but police are giving them life imprisonment. If government acts cynically and violates the rule of the land then why blame the Maoists,” she said. Susan said that she is yet to receive information about Ferreira’s recent bail. She said that arranging the surety is technical issue, and can be sorted out later. “Let Ferreira walk out,” she said.
Earlier, there had been complications in Nagpur Central Jail regarding woman Naxal top cadre Angela Sontakke, who had claimed that the prison authorities had thrashed her. She had complained that the Nagpur jail authorities failed to arrange for security to present her before the court and she had to lose two dates due to this.
Naxal cadres have also complained before Gondia and Nagpur court about arbitrary shifting of inmates to different jails by jail authorities without the permission of the judiciary.