Labelling himself as a “political prisoner”, Arun Ferreira said just because he believed in the Leftist ideology he was branded as a ‘naxal’ and put in prison. Speaking at a press conference at the Press Club on Wednesday, Ferreira said the state government had become intolerant and was out to curb any movement it did not approve of.
“Be it the movement against the Jaitapur nuclear plant, the one against POSCO, or Anna Hazare’s movement, the government immediately says there are naxals or maoist involved,” he said.
Recalling his days in the Nagpur jail, Ferreira claimed that because of the torture he underwent in the police custody, he could not recognise his own photograph published in the newspapers, “Nowadays the police have perfected the techniques of torture to ensure that no marks are left behind,” he alleged.
He added, “One can find a good place to sleep [in jail] if he has money or else he has to sleep near the toilet. The prison manuals are outdated. The rules of British days are still applicable, which means the jail authorities run the place the way they want to.”
Coming down on the police, Ferreira said he was not the first one to be re-arrested after being acquitted by courts. He termed the tactics of the police as their “modus operandi”.
“Even the principal district judge at Gadchiroli has come down on these methods of the police,” he said, adding that his family and friends in Mumbai had managed to put pressure on the government and the police for his release.
Ferreira, along with naxal leader Arun Satya Reddy alias Murli, was arrested in 2007 for an alleged attempt to hold a secret meeting at Dikshabhoomi in Nagpur.
Though released in September last year, he was re-arrested by the police on charge of involvement in the Jafargarh police-naxal encounter case in Gadchiroli.