Where arrests follow acquittals – reads the title of a case study that Arun Ferreira had put forth from his cell in Nagpur Central Prison while pursuing his postgraduate programme in Human Rights from the Indian Institute of Human Rights. Ferreira would be abducted and then arrested the
moment he stepped out of the jail premises on September 27. A plight, according to Ferreira’s study, most inmates accused of having links with Maoists face.
Ferreira’s case study starts with the description of a 30-year-old underprivileged tribal, Somji Kopa Mohaka, from Bhamragarh tehsil in Gadchiroli district implicated in 20 naxal-related cases since 2004 and presently lodged in Nagpur Central Prison.
After nearly five years of delayed court proceedings, the number of cases against him was diminishing because he was being acquitted. By the end of 2009, he was acquitted in all but one case, and was anxiously awaiting his release. But the Gadchiroli police planned and acted otherwise. Somji was rearrested from the prison on the day of his release in November 2009, notes Ferreira. In June 2010, Mohaka was furnished with another charge sheet.
In his study, Ferreira states that the Somji’s case is not an aberration. It is a pre-meditated practice employed by the Maharashtra police to indefinitely extend the incarceration of alleged naxal undertrials.