Bhima-Koregaon Case: Arun Ferreira says cops beat him up in custody
Activists Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Sudha Bharadwaj have been remanded in judicial custody for 14 days
Mumbai-based human rights activist and lawyer Arun Ferreira, arrested by the Pune Police, told the court on Tuesday that he was beaten up in police custody during interrogation. Ferreira has been accused of being involved in the Elgaar Parishad that triggered the violence at Koregoan Bhima in January this year.
After Special Judge Kishor Vadane rejected the anticipatory bail pleas of activist Vernon Gonsalves, Ferreira and Sudha Bharadwaj on October 26 in a Pune court, the three were arrested and produced before the court on October 27. They were remanded in police custody till November 6. The trio, on Tuesday, was remanded in judicial custody for 14 days; a hearing on Ferreira's allegations is scheduled for November 12.
In the courtroom, Ferreira said the three were interrogated by Assistant Commissioner of Police Shivaji Pawar, investigating officer in the case, on November 4. "At his office in Swargate, I was forced to remove by glasses and slapped repeatedly, and an in-camera statement was recorded. When I was taken to the Sassoon General Hospital on November 5, I told the doctor about it and asked him to mention it in the medical report," Ferreira said.
Pune District Government Pleader Ujjwala Pawar, while informing the court that ACP Pawar was out of station, argued that a custodial interrogation of the arrested will be required later for in-depth investigation. "They should be remanded in judicial custody for now and can be re-arrested later," she appealed to the court.
When contacted, ACP Pawar denied the allegations and said, "Such tactics are used to divert attention from the case. Nothing of this sort has taken place." Defence lawyer Siddharth Patil pointed out that the police were not following the guidelines laid down under the Code of Criminal Procedure's section 164. He also moved an application in court requesting it to take the medical report in its possession before the police could tamper with it.
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