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BK-16 PRISON DIARIES: ARUN FERREIRA ON THE FARCE AND TRAGEDY OF THE PANDEMIC IN PRISON

BK-16 PRISON DIARIES: ARUN FERREIRA ON THE FARCE AND TRAGEDY OF THE PANDEMIC IN PRISON

To mark six years of the arbitrary arrests and imprisonment of political dissidents in the Bhima Koregaon case, The Polis Project is publishing a series of writings by the BK-16, and their families, friends and partners. By describing various aspects of the past six years, the series offers a glimpse into the BK-16’s lives inside prison, as well as the struggles of their loved ones outside. Each piece in the series is complemented by Arun Ferreira’s striking and evocative artwork.

BK-16 PRISON DIARIES: ARUN FERREIRA ON THE FARCE AND TRAGEDY OF THE PANDEMIC IN PRISON

14/06/2024

THE POLIS PROJECT / ARUN FERREIRA

The first wave of COVID-19 took us all by surprise, universally. We were caught unawares, and our response was clumsy and faltered, often searching for solutions that now appear ridiculous. It was no different in prison, but what made things even worse was the compounded consequences of the farcical implementation of sincere solutions, and the sincere implementation of farcical solutions. Prison authorities did not display any intention of adequately dealing with the pandemic, but were eager to present a façade of an efficient administrative response on official records with a miniscule number of COVID-19 cases.
Read more


Also read:
BK-16 PRISON DIARIES: VERNON GONSALVES ON THE STRUGGLE TO READ AND WRITE BEHIND BARS (THE POLIS PROJECT / JUNE 2024)
INTRODUCING THE BK-16 PRISON DIARIES SERIES (THE POLIS PROJECT / JUNE 2024)

If those on bail are tracked 24/7, has their liberty really been (partially) restored?

If those on bail are tracked 24/7, has their liberty really been (partially) restored?

The Leaflet / by Gursimran Kaur Bakshi

How does pairing mobile phones and using GPS trackers on persons on bail sit with settled jurisprudence and what do experts have to say on the issue? 
Last month, the Supreme Court granted the former head of the department of English at Nagpur University, Professor Shoma Sen, bail in the Bhima Koregaon case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA).
Read more


Also read:
Share Gps live location with nia 24×7: Supreme Court bail conditions for Shoma Sen (Bar & Bench / April 2024)
Supreme Court grants bail to Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira, with tethers (The Leaflet / Jul 2023)

Compensate Arun Ferreira for not forwarding his letter from jail to mother on Stan Swamy: MSHRC

Compensate Arun Ferreira for not forwarding his letter from jail to mother on Stan Swamy: MSHRC

Compensate Elgaar Parishad accused Arun Ferreira for not forwarding his letter from jail to mother on Stan Swamy: Human rights panel

26/04/2024

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

The Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission has asked the prison department to educate its officers on prison rules to censor inmates’ letters.
The Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) has directed the home department to pay a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to lawyer and Elgaar Parishad case accused Arun Ferreira for violating his fundamental rights as a prisoner by not forwarding his letter on Father Stan Swamy to his mother.
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Maharashtra officials told to pay activist Rs 2 lakh for blocking letter from jail to mother

25/04/2024

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

Arun Ferreira’s letter described his relationship with his co-accused in the Bhima Koregaon case Stan Swamy, who died in custody in 2021.
The Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission has asked the state government and the superintendent of the Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai to pay compensation of Rs 2 lakh to activist Arun Ferreira for failing to send to his mother a letter he had written to her.
Read more


Also read:
Caged birds and prison songs: In chorus, Stan Swamy and the Bhima Koregaon accused kept hope alive (Scroll.in | by Vernon Gonsalves | Jul 2023)
How the system broke Stan Swamy: A cell mate recalls the activist’s last days in prison (Scroll.in | by Arun Ferreira | Aug 2021)

Side-effects of conscience: An account of prison medical care

Side-effects of conscience: An account of prison medical care

Vernon Gonsalves at jail. Drawing by Arun Ferreira.

The Leaflet / by Vernon Gonsalves

Accused in the Bhima Koregaon case and released on bail by the Supreme Court last year after having spent five years in prison without a trial, Vernon Gonsalves narrates a sordid tale of pathetic medicare in Indian jails. 

I have spent almost eleven years in detention, with considerable periods in the most populated prisons of Maharashtra. My first incarceration from 2007 to 2013 began shortly after I turned fifty. I had a second stint from 2018 to 2023, while I was in my sixties.
Read more


Also read:
‘No Material’ to Demonstrate Terror Link, Yet Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferriera Spent 5 Years in Jail [Read judgment] (The Wire / Jul 2023)
Caged birds and prison songs: In chorus, Stan Swamy and the Bhima Koregaon accused kept hope alive (Scroll.in | by Vernon Gonsalves | Jul 2023)
Relatives of BK16 Flag Prison Authorities’ ‘Criminal Negligence’ and Deteriorating Health of Undertrials (Newsclick / Sep 2022)
Jailers’ apathy? Political prisoners’ right to life in India is ‘almost non-existent’ (Countercurrents / Sep 2022)
How the system broke Stan Swamy: A cell mate recalls the activist’s last days in prison (Scroll.in | by Arun Ferreira | Aug 2021)

NIA says it has already supplied copies of all electronic evidence to the accused

NIA says it has already supplied copies of all electronic evidence to the accused

The Leaflet / by Sarah Thanawala

Today, the National Investigation Agency informed the court that it has already supplied cloned copies of all electronic evidence it relies on in the Bhima Koregaon case with the accused.
It also sidestepped compliance with the previous Order of the court on providing a chart showing evidence shared and pending with the accused by stating that such a chart had already been furnished by the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL).
Read More


Also read:
Why Courts Are Ignoring Concerns Of Planted Evidence In The Bhima-Koregaon Prosecution (article14 / Jan 2023)
Incriminating document found in Fr. Stan Swamy’s computer ‘planted’; similar tampering found in other Bhima Koregaon accused: Reports American forensic firm (The Leaflet / Dec 2022)

Bhima Koregaon: The process continues to clot as punishment as another year passes by

Bhima Koregaon: The process continues to clot as punishment as another year passes by

Poster by #bakeryprasad

The Leaflet / by Ayaz Parrey and Sarah Thanawala

Many of the accused in the Bhima Koregaon–Elgar Parishad case have now spent one more year incarcerated without a trial. A far cry from the verbiage of high judicial officials that even a day’s denial of liberty is too much.
… Here is a recap of the major developments in the case this year, of bail applications granted, stayed and pending; the consistent pleas for the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to comply with the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973; and the courts heeding to medical conditions-related pleas of the accused.
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Gonsalves and Ferreira application parses evidence supplied and not supplied per Section 207 CrPc

Gonsalves and Ferreira application parses evidence supplied and not supplied per Section 207 CrPc

Poster by #bakeryprasad

The Leaflet / by Sarah Thanawala

On May 23, 2022, a National Investigation Agency court had directed the agency to furnish a chart consisting of the details of electronic devices seized in the case to be supplied to accused persons, which has not been complied with.
On Wednesday, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira filed an application containing a chart on the electronic evidence relied upon by the prosecution.
Read more


Also Read:
What is Section 207 CrPC, an essential piece of the Bhima Koregaon case puzzle? (The Leaflet / Aug 2023)
Why Courts Are Ignoring Concerns Of Planted Evidence In The Bhima-Koregaon Prosecution (article14 / Jan 2023)
Prison-rights activist Rona Wilson’s hard disk contained malware that allowed remote access (The Caravan / March 2020)

Truth and dare in Bhima Koregaon

Truth and dare in Bhima Koregaon

poster by @/bakeryprasad

The Leaflet / by Susan Abraham

The Bhima Koregaon–Elgar Parishad ‘Maoist’ conspiracy case is a grand experiment with truth where the State is daring the people to stand up for justice.
‘TRUTH or dare’ is a mostly verbal party game requiring two or more players. Players are given the choice between answering a question truthfully, or performing a ‘dare’. The premise is simple: Players take turns asking one another ‘truth or dare?’ If they choose truth, they have to answer a question of the asker’s choosing. If they choose dare, the asker dares them to do something rather than make a confession.
Suppose the State were to subject its citizens to a macabre version of this game by cooking up a conspiracy case and locking up people behind bars. Then tell them that in order to win their freedom, they have to choose the ‘truth’ of the conspiracy or the ‘dare’ to dissent.
This is the absurd logic that plays out when you try to make sense of the Bhima Koregaon conspiracy case.
Read more


Also read:
Five years of Bhima Koregaon arrests: CDRO marks ‘black day’ (The Leaflet / Jun 2023)

Tragedy that people remain in jail with little or no evidence in UAPA cases: Advocate Rebecca John

Tragedy that people remain in jail with little or no evidence in UAPA cases: Advocate Rebecca John


Tragedy that people remain in jail with little or no evidence in UAPA cases: Advocate Rebecca John

17/09/2023

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The senior advocate said that the law has strict bail conditions and allows extension of custody of an accused from 90 to 180 days before chargesheet is filed.
It is tragic that people booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act continue to remain incarcerated on little or no evidence due to the stringent sections in the law, senior advocate Rebecca John said on Saturday, reported Live Law.
John, who has represented activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in the Bhima Koregaon case, made the remarks during a panel discussion held for the launch of the book, Unsealed Covers: A Decade of the Constitution, the Courts and the State by author Gautam Bhatia.
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When UAPA Is Invoked, People Continue To Be Behind Bars Even With Little Or No Evidence, That’s The Real Tragedy: Rebecca John

17/09/2023

Live Law / by Gyanvi Khanna

During a panel discussion held to mark the launch of the book, authored by Gautam Bhatia, ‘Unsealed Covers: A Decade of the Constitution, the Courts, and the State, Senior Advocate Rebecca John made strong observations about the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA).
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Video: Discussion On Unsealed Covers By Gautan Bhatia – Justice Muralidahar, Rebecca John, Seema Chishti


en | 1:37:45 | 2023
Watch video


Also read/watch:
Rebecca John: Supreme Court judgment has far reaching consequences (Rediff.com / Aug 2023)
Video: Vernon v. State of Maharashtra: A Breakthrough in Bail Jurisprudence under the UAPA? (PUCL India / Aug 2023)

Bombay High Court reserves order on Mahesh Raut’s bail plea

Bombay High Court reserves order on Mahesh Raut’s bail plea

Mahesh Raut’s bail plea reserved for judgment on September 21

12/09/2023

The Leaflet / by Sarah Thanawala

Additional Solicitor General of India Devang Girish Vyas, representing the NIA, argued that as an active member of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), Mahesh Raut recruited members and received funds to further its activities, and he was a participant in the Elgar Parishad event that had led to violence. 
… With the conclusion of arguments on both sides, the matter is reserved for judgment on September 21.
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Bombay High Court reserves order on Mahesh Raut’s bail plea

13/09/2023

India Today / by Vidya

Division bench of Bombay High Court has reserved its order on activist Mahesh Raut’s bail plea in the Elgar Parishad Maoist links case. The order will be issued on September 21.
The Bombay High Court, on Tuesday, reserved its verdict on the bail plea of activist Mahesh Raut, who stands accused in the Bhima Koregaon–Elgar Parishad Maoist links and criminal conspiracy case.
Advocate Mihir Desai, representing Raut, cited several high court and Supreme Court orders where Raut’s co-accused were granted bail and argued that his case is on par with theirs.
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HC reserves its order in Elgar accused’s bail plea

13/09/2023

The Times of India / by Swati Deshpande

Bombay high court on Tuesday reserved for orders a bail plea filed by Mahesh Raut, a 34 year old researcher from Chandrapur, accused in the January 2018 Elgar Parishad case. The HC bench of Justices Ajay Gadkari and Sharmila Deshmukh said it would pass orders on September 21 or by September 26.
Read more


Mahesh Raut bail plea seeks parity with Dr Anand Teltumbde’s

11/09/2023

The Leaflet / by Sarah Thanawala

Senior advocate Mihir Desai, appearing on behalf of Mahesh Raut, took the court through material cited by the National Investigation Agency, claiming lack of evidence against Raut. Desai sought parity with judgments granting bail to other co-accused persons— Dr Anand Teltumbde, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira. 
On Monday, a division Bench of the Bombay High Court comprising Justices A.S. Gadkari and Sharmila U. Deshmukh heard the bail plea of forest rights activist Mahesh Raut.
Read more


Also read:
Gonsalves and Ferreira bail judgment: A step in the right direction but where will we go from here? (The Leaflet / Aug 2023)
Why the Bombay High Court granted regular bail to Dr. Anand Teltumbde: An explainer (The Leaflet / Dec 2022)
● Gadchiroli’s 300 Gram Sabhas Pass Resolution in Support of Activist Mahesh Raut (The Wire / Oct 2018)
Mining In Gadchiroli – Building A Castle Of Injustices (Countercurrents / by Neema Pathak Broome and Mahesh Raut / June 2017)