Archive for the ‘Maharashtra’ Category

Maharashtra Terror Police continue to torture social workers

June 26, 2007


• Salekasa police had pumped 30 ml of petrol up Murali Reddy’s anus, which caused severe bleeding later. On Thursday, Adenwalla secured an order from the court to get Reddy examined by a civil surgeon in Gondia

• Arun Ferreira’s soles were whipped with batons while ice was kept on his genitals

• All four were subjected to third-degree torture during police interrogation.

Nagpur police prolonging Arun Ferreira’s custody: lawyer

IAPL member Maharukh Adenwalla is also arguing the case of Murali Reddy, who was held with Bandra resident Arun Ferreira (below) on charges of having links with Naxals

The International Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL) on Friday said the Nagpur police was wrongly implicating alleged Naxalite Arun Ferreira and his associates in several cases to prolong their police custody and torturing them.

Ferreira and his co-detenues will now undergo another narco-analysis test following the order of a magistrate’s court in Bhandara. The previous test was inconclusive.

IAPL member Maharukh Adenwalla, who is also arguing the case of Murali Reddy, picked up along with Ferreira, says, “Ever since their arrest on May 8, Reddy has been in police custody. [Bandra-resident] Ferreira, who remained in police custody till June 19, has only now been sent to judicial custody. The law allows police custody for only 15 days. That is why the police has been implicating them in different cases — if they get out in one case, they can be arrested in another.”

Nagpur police had arrested Ferreira, Reddy, Naresh Bansod and Dhanendra Bhurle for alleged links with Naxal groups on May 8. Adenwalla pointed to a 2005 landmine blast case in which the accused had already been arrested by the Salekasa police. Now, the police have implicated Ferreira and Reddy in that case. Interestingly, the FIR does not even mention them as accused.

“This is a serious infringement of democratic rights,” says Adenwalla, “in our June 8 petition, we asked the court to direct the police to give us details of all the cases in which the accused have been implicated.”


• Salekasa police had pumped 30 ml of petrol up Murali Reddy’s anus, which caused severe bleeding later. On Thursday, Adenwalla secured an order from the court to get Reddy examined by a civil surgeon in Gondia

• Arun Ferreira’s soles were whipped with batons while ice was kept on his genitals

• All four were subjected to third-degree torture during police interrogation.


* According to Adenwalla, the day after their arrest, Ferreira and the others were again arrested by the Dhantoli police.

* As soon as they were given judicial custody on May 20, the four were sent to Mumbai for narco-analysis tests.

* On May 23, when they returned from Mumbai, the Salekasa police applied to the magistrate for their custody.

* From May 28 to June 6, the four were in the custody of Salekasa police.

* Then, Bansod was sent to judicial custody, but the others were handed over to the Chichgad police till June 19.

* While Ferreira, Bansod and Bhurle are now in Nagpur jail, Reddy is with the Duggipur police.

mumbai news


Naxal leaders regrouping in city?

June 24, 2007

NAGPUR: After some turbulence caused by the arrest of four naxals near Deekshabhoomi on May 8, Maoist leaders and front organisations in the region are reportedly re-grouping in Nagpur. Sources told TOI that after Nagpur police arrested Arun Ferriera, Mahesh alias Murli alias Ashok Satya Reddy, Dhanendra Burle and Naresh Bansod, there were some waves of protest.

However, only Ferriera’s arrest created a significant impact. “Front organisations and sympathisers projected Ferriera as an activist and not a Maoist. Ferriera’s Mumbai-based wife Jennifer was instrumental in this and she even went to national media to prove his reported innocence,’’ said the source.

Meanwhile, a naxal-backed ‘fact-finding committee’ was also formed in yet another effort to prove the ‘innocence’ of Ferriera and others. Now, Nagpur police have reportedly learnt that top leaders of Maoists, their sympathisers and other front organisations have started regrouping in Nagpur. “Their so-called fact-finding committee has become active in recent times. They are holding meetings, preparing documents and gathering support to keep the issue on the boil. They want to exonerate Ferriera at all costs,’’ said the source.

Another issue cropping up often in the meetings is the ‘failure’ of the Nagpur police to find clinching evidence in the narco test of Ferriera and Murli. “This so-called failure of Nagpur police is being highlighted repeatedly in the meetings reportedly to form a negative sentiment,’’ the source added.

Meanwhile, there was reportedly a large presence of naxal sympathisers at the hearing of the four arrested naxals here on Thursday. “They were also trying to contact the media and may have intended to influence them,’’ the source said.

Toilet Paper of India

Studying Networks- Naxalites eyeing Dabbawallahs

June 17, 2007

The pen drive seized from alleged Naxalite Arun Ferreira contained information about the operational details of the city’s dabbawalas, top officials of the anti-Naxalite unit of Maharashtra Police told DNA Wednesday.

Statistics about Dabbawala’s
1. DABBAWALA’S = lunch-box carriers
2. LOCATION : Mumbai , 120 years Old operation
3. ORGANIZATION : Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association (MTBSA)
4. MEMBERSHIP : 5,000
6. JOB : Deliver home-cooked food to offices in the western Indian city of Mumbai
7. REACH : 200,000 people
8. EFFICIENCY : Their life starts with braving Mumbai’s heat, humidity and peak-hour traffic, reaching the homes of students, entrepreneurs of small businesses, managers, especially bank staff, and mill workers.

Dabbawala’s pushing their cart on mumbai’s streets

Ferreira had been arrested from Nagpur on May 8, along with Murali alias Ashok Reddy, a Naxalite divisional commander. The dabbawalas have strongly reacted to their trade having anything to do with police and security affairs. Raghunath Dhondiba Medage, president of dabbawalas’ association, said, “Ours is a clean and totally transparent system. We don’t tolerate anything even remotely suspicious.”

Anti-Naxalite unit officials have communicated the development to higher-ups in the Home department.

What intrigued the police and security officials was the “interest” of the Naxalite-Maoist cadre in the functioning of dabbawalas — a network which has access to almost every home in the city and suburbs.

“Ferreira’s pen drive contained information about how dabbawalas operated flawlessly within a systemic framework. The information is exhaustive and also lists how the system runs and makes profits,” said Pankaj Gupta, Special Inspector General of the anti-Naxalite unit.

Police claimed that Ferreira, a Bandra resident, was an active Maharashtra state committee member of the Communist Part of India (Maoist) and had considerable influence among the ultra-Left in the state. Other information contained in the pen -drive also revealed “his clear involvement” in the Naxalite-Maoist scheme of things, sources said.

“Information about this particular network (dabbawala) is a worrying development,” said Nagpur Police Commissioner SPS Yadav.

“Perhaps, the Naxalites were planning to infiltrate the dabbawala network and use it to their own advantage,” said a senior Intelligence official on condition of anonimity.

DNA India

Naxal recruitments are nil, says Murli

June 13, 2007

Naxal recruitments are nil, says Murli

NAGPUR: Police investigations have revealed that there was no fresh recruitment of naxals in Gadchiroli and Chandrapur districts.

According to inspector general of police (anti-naxal operations) Pankaj Gupta, divisional secretary of the naxal organisation Murli, who was arrested in the city last month, said that recruitment of cadres in the naxal-infested Gadchiroli and Chandrapur districts has come down drastically and, in fact, in recent months, there was no new recruits.

Gupta said the the naxals were possibly looking for a support base in other anti-national groups and even individuals with certain vendetta towards the government. But within the police circles the depletion of naxal outfits in Maharashtra is being viewed as a major achievement of the government’s drive to flush out the naxals.

“The naxals have lost several of its cadre in encounters and they are finding it difficult to recruit new men. A series of government initiatives has also led to naxals losing their hold in the villages.

Despite threats, youths from the villagers are coming forward to join the police force. About 20,000 people walked in at a recent police recruitment drive in Chandrapur district,’’ Gupta said.

We seized a pen drive from Arun Feriera which contained important details regarding naxal operations and meetings of various naxal committees, he added.


No threat of Naxal movement in Mumbai: Police

June 5, 2007

No threat of Naxal movement in Mumbai: Police

Mumbai, June 03: In wake of the arrest of a city- based person in Nagpur on charges of being a Naxalite, Mumbai Police claimed that the city does not have immediate threat of the movement taking roots here.

“Mumbai city doesn’t have immediate threat of that kind of movement taking deep roots here and I do not see it in the near future,” Mumbai Police Commissioner D N Jadhav told a news agency.

Jadhav said the Naxals will always be on the lookout for areas to “cool off” away from the eastern Vidarbha region where operations are on against them and then look for simmering discontent among the local populace to spread their philosophy.

“They are thriving in forests of central India. So far they haven’t succeeded in forested area like Thane or Dhulia and all that,” he said referring to the areas to the north of Mumbai.

When asked about reports which said the Naxals were preparing to create law and order problems during the tenth anniversary of the Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar firing incident on July 11, Jadhav said, “one agent can damage a statue and people can come out on the streets and cause disruptions or rioting. You don’t have to have a mass movement for that.”

Eleven Dalits had died in police firing on demonstrators protesting against the alleged desceration of a Ambedkar statue in Ghatkopar’s Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar on July 11, 1997.

Jadhav said there are “infinite possibilities” for the Naxals to find discontent within the people like the mill workers, the setting of SEZs on the city’s fringes.

Bureau Report

Narco tests on alleged Naxal turns out to be flop

May 29, 2007

Narco tests on alleged Naxal turns out to be flop
The narco-analysis tests carried out on alleged Naxalite Arun Ferreira, a Bandra resident who was arrested along with three others in Nagpur on May 8, at Kalina Forensic Science Laboratory have failed to yield effective results. This, even as the senior Naxalite cadre contradicted himself occasionally, said the police.

The police alleged that the tests did not throw up “clinching” results as no police officer was allowed in during the interrogation — something that marred the prospects of an “interactive exchange” between the police and the suspect.

According to sources, the police had prepared a pointed set of questions to be hurled at Ferreira during the narco-analysis tests. The question set was designed to make him admit or deny his recent involvement in the overall Naxalite-Maoist scheme of things across central India.

“But although Ferreira was found to glaringly contradict himself on a couple of occasions, there was no immediate reactive response (in terms of artfully framed questions) from the investigating officers (making the suspect speak his mind out) geared to elicit real information out of him,” said a senior anti-Naxalite unit officer who spoke to DNA on conditions of anonymity.

“We approached the director of the forensic science laboratory on the matter but the authorities chose to perform brain-mapping and polygraph tests on Ferreira instead,” the officer added.


Random access: Accused by the pen drive

May 28, 2007

Random access: Accused by the pen drive

Fear can be funny. Paranoia makes people do strange things, like that General Ripper in Dr Strangelove. In the terrible grip of a crazy idea that the Commies are poisoning “the purity and essence of our natural fluids”, the American General, fondling a phallic cigar and contorting his face, launches a nuclear strike against Russia on his own. To “save the precious body fluids of the American people,” the General presses a panic button that triggers a doomsday machine which destroys the whole world. Ripper’s fear was not funny. It was destructive. In this Kubrik classic, all the powerful people wearing funny hats were driven crazy by fear.

The fear of Reds crawling under your bed is making the police in India do strange things as well. People are being picked up and interrogated on the basis of the files in their computers and pen drives. And if the pen drive contains files about SEZs, land-grabbing, atrocities against dalits and communal riots, you are in big trouble.

Not only will you be taken to the police station, given a dose of truth serum and questioned in isolation, the police will also threaten to lock up anyone who dares to speak in your support.

We don’t know if Arun Ferreira from Bandra is a member of the CPI (Maoist) or not, or if he has been involved in any violent act, but the police have already passed a judgement: He is a seditionist — a Naxalite threatening the Indian state. Part of the “evidence” is in his pen drive which has some files on “sensitive issues”.

They haven’t produced any evidence of his involvement in any violent activity, but Ferreira is guilty because the police suspect he is guilty.

This is not funny. It’s scary. If people can be put behind bars for what they have saved in their computers, half the journalists, academics, social activists, NGO workers and writers in this country should be in the police station waiting for their turn to be jabbed with sodium pentothal and talk in a daze about the “seditionist material” in their computers.

And then they would throw you into a dingy cell where petty thieves, rapists and professional killers kick you day and night for being “anti-national”.

This is exactly what happened with Delhi-based Kashmiri journalist Iftikhar Geelani a few years ago. The police caught him under the draconian Official Secrets Act for some documents in his laptop which reflected “his inclination towards insurgency in Kashmir”.

The documents turned out to be a US State Department report which is available on the internet and had been published by at least one newspaper in India. But, for the police it was simple: a Kashmiri carrying information on the Indian army has to be a terrorist. So, Geelani was guilty because they suspected him of being guilty. It was the same story with B K Subbarao, a scientist with the Indian Navy who was in jail for 20 months because a paranoid establishment suspected him of selling off national secrets.

And they built a case against him on the basis of material he was carrying when they intercepted him at the airport. He was eventually absolved of the charge. Subbarao says that he was called a spy for carrying his own PhD thesis (from IIT-Bombay).

In the past few years, national security has become an obsession. As hundreds of social movements for empowerment — from dalits to tribals to women — gain strength every day, the establishment gets terrified. And it hits back with a vengeance, with national security as its weapon and its shield.

It is a mild reminder of a certain Mr Joseph McCarthy and the ministry of fear he created in the US in the 1950s.

Paranoid about social unrest in the US, McCarthy was convinced that “subversives” had infiltrated the American government and that they were disclosing secret information. Exaggerating the threat of communism, McCarthy claimed that there was a “homosexual underground” that was abetting the “communist conspiracy”.

He put many marginalised groups on his list of subversives. And the result was a crackdown on political opponents, writers, film-makers, social and civil rights activists.

We are witnessing something similar here now: the police picking people merely on suspicion, trying to build cases on the basis of emails, phone calls, SIM cards and pen drives.

The cases keep falling flat in the courts while real terrorists walk in and out of the country at will, blowing up common Indians on trains and buses, at mosques and in temples, in cinema halls and offices. The real perpetrators of these crimes almost never get caught, tried and convicted.

Catching people for carrying “sensitive information” can’t be a way of tackling national security issues. It has something to do with opinion. It has something to do with suppressing political opposition. It is all about trampling on liberties and stifling dissent. Governments around the world — from the US to China to Sudan to Colombia — have been itching to launch a war of terror on those who oppose them. And thousands of people with political opinions have been “fixed” through this “war on terror”.

In this season of suspicion, I check my personal computer at home. There are hundreds of reports on human rights violations in India, police atrocities, dalit organisations, transcripts of Al Qaida tapes, Abu Ghraib, Naxalite groups, and Nandigram, all downloaded from the net.

I don’t think it’s safe anymore to save those files on the computer or a pen drive. It’s better to keep all this in your mind. They don’t have a machine with which they can read your mind. Not yet.


Pro-Maoists come to aid of naxals

May 28, 2007

Why would someone come up with such a strange sounding headline ?

Pro-Maoists come to aid of naxals

NAGPUR: The arrest of yet another leader of People’s Union for Civil Liberties by the Chhattisgarh police has strong repercussion on the activities of the pro-Maoist groups in central India, including Maharashtra.

The Chhattisgarh police took into custody Adv Rajendra K Sail, the state president of People’s Union for Civil Liberties, at Raipur on Friday. Earlier, Dr Binayak Sen, general secretary and national vice-president of the PUCL, was held by Chhattisgarh police.

The act of arresting Dr Sen was picked up as an issue of police highhandedness. Several front organisations reportedly kick-started an active movement to gain support base in favour of four naxals, arrested here on May 8.

Highlighting the innocence of the two of the arrested Maoists from Gondia – Naresh Bansod and Dhanendra Bhurle – several voices were raised in Vidarbha too.

Reportedly Mumbai-based supporters of Arun alias Sunil Thomas Ferriera, who was held with Mahesh alias Murali alias Ashok Satya Reddy at Deekshabhoomi on May 8 by Nagpur police, tried to underline his role in the society as a social activist who has been associated with student movement.

Reportedly, some of the student organisations are under scrutiny as their roles and activities are often viewed as the reflections of the Maoists vision.

Apart from shadowing the activities of the alleged front organisations in the city, Nagpur police have reportedly stepped up its vigilance in various areas bringing the activities of different social organisations under scanner.

The outcome of narco-analysis test on the arrested quartet, conducted at Mumbai recently, could bring the role of several organisations both in and outside Vidarbha under close scrutiny of the police and different intelligence agencies in the both state and central level.

Toiletpaper of India

100 days of ‘torture’ for innocent poet by Maharashtra Terror Police

May 22, 2007

100 days of ‘torture’ for innocent poet by Maharashtra Terror Police

Shantanu Kamble proved he did not have links with Naxalities

Arrested as an alleged Naxalite, Arun Ferriera is still in police custody, though his friends claim he is innocent. Sunday MiD DAY talks to Shantanu Kamble, who was arrested by the Nagpur police in 2005 on similar grounds of suspicious Naxalite links, but later cleared by the court.

Kamble’s story

Twentynine-year-old Wadala resident Kamble was arrested by the Nagpur police who claimed he was a hardcore Naxal activist.

However, the court later acquitted Kamble and admitted that he is a poet, not a Naxal.

He was arrested in two murder cases of a sub-inspector and state minister. The police also charged him with involvement in other Naxalite activities in Chandrapur.

Recalling those 100 ‘horrible’ days of police custody, Kamble says, “During the interrogation, the police would tightly tie my hands in opposite directions, they would force my legs apart and two policemen would stand on my feet.

Almost everyday, they used these methods to torture me.” He goes on to add, “I was under tremendous psychological and physical pressure but during the medical check-up, the doctors declared us as fit without even bothering to ask us about our pains.”

Kamble claims that he is a poet (Shahir) and would attend cultural programmes whenever invited. “I always go with the person who contacts me.

In September 2005, I was supposed to go to Raipur for a programme arranged by the Adivasi movement. I left Mumbai for Raipur via Nagpur with V Shankar who, I later discovered, was a hard-core Naxalite.”

That night, the police took Kamble and Shankar for routine enquiry to the police station. “But even after couple of days there were no sign of release.

The police produced us in court surrounded by commandos. I was shocked at the treatment meted out to me, as I had nothing to do with any undemocratic activity,” says Kamble.

Mid Day

Police brought Ferreira and Murali at Mumbai for narco test

May 22, 2007

Police brought Ferreira and Murali at Mumbai for narco test
Police interrogators fail to break silence of man who they claim is a top functionary of the dreaded PWG

One of the four accused arrested by Nagpur police for alleged Naxalite activities

The Mumbai-based alleged Maoist, Arun Thomas Ferreira and top Naxalite leader, Murali Sattya Reddy were brought to the state capital from Nagpur under tight security on Monday morning to conduct narco-analysis, lie-detector and brain-mapping tests.

According to available information, both the suspected Naxalites may undergo the test at Mumbai on Tuesday or could even be shifted to Bangalore for the tests if it was needed. A team of senior police personnel, led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Surendra Mekala, had taken them to Mumbai by train. The duo was arrested with another two suspected Naxalites near Deekshabhoomi last fortnight.

Talking to Hindustan Times, Commissioner of Police (CP), SPS Yadav confirmed that the tests were not conducted on Monday. While admitting that both the Naxalites were taken to Mumbai, he refused to divulge the details. The duo has been brought to Mumbai to testify some valuable information the Nagpur police and the state anti-Naxal cell had gathered in the case.

The local court had allowed the narco and brain-mapping tests of both the suspected Naxalites when the police pointed out that it was essential to conduct such tests in view of their anti-national and violent activities. Both, who were booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, were not revealing their original plans and their purpose of coming to the city. Moreover, the police said that interrogation of Mumbai-based Naxalite Ferreira had become a challenge for them since he hardly disclosed anything to the police. He is proficient in computers and was the in-charge of propaganda and communication network of the CPI (Maoist).

Government pleader PK Sathianathan filed an application on Sunday before the local court to produce Ferreira and Murali in Mumbai for conducting the three tests. The court granted the permission and directed the jailer of the Nagpur Central Jail in Nagpur to produce them on Monday at Mumbai. And finally, the city police brought them to Mumbai on Monday morning.

Meanwhile, the court also granted the magisterial custody to four alleged extremists till June 2.

Hindusthan times