experience in Police custody
I was arrested on 5th July 2006 in the early morning at 3am from my residence along with 5 more innocent person (My partner & 4 tenants from my slum plot) under dreaded MCOC Act. The crime branch officers came to my residence after mid night at around 2.30am and took me to Bandra crime branch office. They interrogate me and asked nothing regarding my underworld connection for next 5 hours. They were only interrogating me and my partner as to how I had purchased a plot at Mulgaon Dongri, Andheri East, Mumbai for so high rate, how many tenants have signed the agreement etc etc. At around 8.30am they told us to sign one paper stating that we all are arrested under the draconian law MCOC Act.
The police officers then took us for medical examination at Bhaba hospital in Bandra and thereafter they took us to the crime branch unit no 8 office and Andheri East to do Panchnama of all our articles. The police officers after doing some more interrogation took us around 3pm to the special MCOCA court and judge Mr Abhay Thipsay who as per law remanded us to police custody for 9 days.
It’s really surprising that our plot/office and home all fall under the jurisdiction of crime branch unit no 10, but none of the officers from unit no 10 knew whom they are going to arrest till 12 midnight (3 hours before our arrest). The crime branch unit no 8 chief Vinayak Sawade and ACP Pramod Rane had taken huge amount from my rival builder Santosh Mithgaokar.
We were then taken to Andheri lock up at around 8pm. It had a small 15 X 10 ft room were we all were put in. It had no fan, light and only the passage had tube light. It had no pillow, bed sheet and we had to sleep on the floor. Imagine leading a 5 star life through out my life and see the irony.
Next morning the police officers from crime branch unit no 10 started our interrogation. After interrogating us for 2 days they found out we all were not at all guilty and it was a false case, but law is such you have to be in the police custody for 1 month minimum in MCOC Act. The crime branch officers were also surprised as none of us had any single criminal case against us/ no phone tapping was done in spite of the complainant receiving threatening calls from April 2006 to July 2006/ no call was made by any of us from any of our mobile or landline numbers and also no money laundering or any links with underworld was found.
Here I came to know that some officers from crime branch unit no 8 (Senior Inspector Vinayak Sawade & others) and the Investigating Officer (Assistant Commissioner of Police Pramod Rane now retired and is working in Reliance Energy) had taken around 25 lakhs of rupees from our rival Santosh Builder (who is the front man of many politicians in Maharashtra) and put us in jail to grab my land. This shows MCOC Act which gives police power to arrest anyone from underworld, terrorists, murderers, cheaters and person having 2 serious cases against them in last 10 years is being misused by some police person for their personal benefit. My case was a simple civil dispute case for which we had filed 2 civil suits against the complainant (one Brijlal Tiwari).
Mr Rane also took around 7 lakhs rupees from all of us so that we are not physically tortured in the police custody from a middlemen who happens to be relative of one of the accused. This can be proved if his Narco test is done on him or us.
I was given instruction from my friend not to sign any confession papers without reading it properly while in police custody. This came in help for me as on the last day of my custody the junior police officers under the instruction of Mr Rane tried to take signature on a paper stating we had 3 kattas (desi revolvers) and some bullets. Since I was good in English I read and told my all colleagues not to sign on the blank paper. We were put under lot of pressure but when we told them that today we will complaint to the judge about it they all got afraid. ACP rane was afraid and asked me not to say any thing to the judge.
The police also tried to put pressure on my younger brother to give false statement against me or else he will also be put in MCOCA case. He was very strong hearted and after taking advice from his friend, he told the intelligence officer Pramod Rane that he will commit suicide in front of his office after writing a confession letter to his advocate. The officer was so scared that he left my brother unhurt and also did not have any guts to take his statement.
As Mr Rane had taken money from us he did not physically tortured us, but he must have tortured mentally more than 30 relatives/friends of ours to give false statement against us as he was seeing his case was very weak and he will land in trouble afterwards.
During our police custody Sub Inspector Ninad Sawant was terrorizing builders in front of us by telling them on mobile that see we have caught big builder in MCOCA and now we will also arrest you if you do not give us money. The SRA plot owner were forced to give money to Ninad Sawant.
Because of some court order it was good that all prisoner are taken to hospital to do medical check up every 48 hours. The food in Andheri lock up was good as it was privatized and taken over by a good South Indian restaurant.
When I was released on 7th Sept 2006 the court had ordered that I have to report to the Investigating Officer once every week. Now this man Mr Rane started putting pressure on me stating that officers from EOW (economic offence wing of mumbai police) wanted to interrogate me and was demanding more money from me. But I had an friend who was a senior upright officer in EOW and he helped me. He gave me his mobile number and told me that none of his officers are coming to interrogate me and that I can tell this to Mr Rane. This retired officer Rane got so afraid that he stopped calling me to his office.
The police has power to arrest anyone and no court of law have ever punished any policeman in India (except for few high profile cases). The recent example of the false case against a innocent lady named Swati Kachalia of Mumbai who was acquitted in March 2010 after fighting the legal battle with police for 8 years. But the court should pass strictures against the police so that they don't have courage to file false cases and get away with it. As a common man has to suffer for 3 to 5 years in court, spend money on lawyers where as the police get the lawyers free of charges.
You should see the movie Andhaa Kanoon (role of Amitabh Bachchan) to know how the law is blind in India.
Road Jail, Mumbai
If you want to see hell on earth you should visit Arthur road jail. One barrack in the jail is meant for 70-80 persons but there are more than 300 people crammed in all the barracks at any given time. It’s the dirtiest place in the world.
When you enter arthur
road jail first they make you take all your clothes to find out, whether you are carrying any
drugs/knife/playing cards or some object able things not allowed in jail.
You are given back your clothes and then you are made to sit on the
road in pairs of two at least for one hour, till the entry procedure of
all the incoming prisoners or under trials (may be 30 to 40) are over –
these people come from different police stations and from different courts
When I was sent to jail custody I was given AFTER barrack (its meant for person who is given 1 or 2 days jail custody for petty cases). After staying in AFTER barrack for 2 days I was transferred to barrack number 8/2 where mostly drug addicts, rag pickers, beggars, drug lords, rapist are lodged. The prisoner who live in the barracks need high endurance levels to put up with the excesses within the prison, including cold gang-wars, extortion, lack of sanitation, unpalatable food and acute lack of space. Arthur Road jail which lodges only under trials, has an official capacity of 820, but more than 3,000 are cramped for space in the jail.
Here if you are known to warden or give him bribe then you are given most comfortable position (which is there in all 4 corners of a barrack). You will get bed sheets, good food, allowed to play cards, have tea, good food etc etc. At night, we have to think twice before going to the toilets. Once we get up, it is almost impossible to get back to your place to sleep. Sanitation is pathetic. The toilets are cleaned only once a day and stink. One can hardly get good sleep. Skin disease is common as inmates hailing from various backgrounds are lodged in the same barrack and those who have skin diseases spread them to others. Bedbugs (known as khatmal in hindi language) are very commonly seen. Just two doctors man the 25-bed single-storied barrack- turned into a hospital. Even if we have 10 different ailments, we are given the same medicine. This has become a joke amongst all prisoners.
is a long hall. Its width
would be like the following: If three 5.7- inch persons lay on the floor
length wise there would have four inches gap between one person’s foot
and other person’s head. If
you move your hand up - your hand will touch on the foot of some one and
they would shout at you. If
you move your foot down then it will touch on some ones feet, then they
will shout at you.
Lights in the hall is never turned off. Person next you and you would move your hand, or turn in your sleep. That means, you lose your sleep. Some people have violent moves in their sleep. But if you make any comment, you will be shouted at.
day starts with counting of prisoners at 6am when the door opens and jail
police start counting the numbers of prisoners and again
in the evening at 6pm when the door closes. Then we are given tea at
7am. The condition of the toilets is worst it’s all dirty with no
door latch. Then we either take bath in our barrack on 1st
floor or go down in open to take bath. Then you can take walk in
your own barrack or bribe the policeman (not connected to Mumbai police as
they are special jail police having powers inside the jail boundaries
only) and can visit other barracks freely.
There is a canteen outside where you get 500 rupees monthly coupons and can buy milk, biscuits, cigarettes, butter, bread etc. Then the lunch is served at 11 am. It consists of watery dal, bland vegetable, some sweets, rice & hard chapattis which no normal person can eat. Here we learnt that the government spends 45 rupees daily on food bill for average prisoner but half of them is eaten by the contractors/suppliers & jail authorities. If you complain you are beaten mercilessly.
The food is served in a
aluminum bowls. And most of these bowls did not have proper shape
– and was never washed properly for long years.
The bowl you get to use might have used by a drunken person who
might not have taken bath for months.
That person might not have washed it properly also.
But you do not have a choice to go and get it washed.
The prisoners who are influential takes butter from canteen, onions etc from jail kitchen, bribing the warden to make the food tasty by re-cooking & frying the jail food inside the barrack after door closes at 6pm. The cooking is done with burning of 1 day old chapatti's (which you get for 50 paisa per chapati in the jail) old newspapers/plastic utensils etc etc. Around 7 to 8pm you will see smoke all over the barrack and its difficult to breathe. You can't complain to the jailer as you will be beaten by the influential prisoners.
warden is a ruthless criminal serving life term for murder and has to manage
300 prisoners inside the barrack once the door closes from 6pm in the
evening to 6am next morning, even the jail police does not enter the
barrack at the time given above.
The warden can beat you, push you around, make you sit wherever he want you to
sit, can move you around for no reason.
No body is there to question him actually.
The warden can beat you, push you around, make you sit wherever he want you to sit, can move you around for no reason. No body is there to question him actually.
or twice in a week there is a check up by the police officers from other
jails as many prisoners manage to smuggle food/knives/mobile etc inside
is also an anda barrack where hardened criminals are kept. This
barrack has on small hole from where the sunlight comes in and has a small
open bathroom. Then there is a budda barrack meant for person above
the age of 50 years. This barrack is clean and during my time Pramod
Mahajan was there.
a week you can meet your friends or relative once across the window. Here
also you have to pay bribe if you wish to talk to them for more than 10 minutes.
Each month only 500 rupees coupons are allowed per person officially. But if you need more money you have to pay double the amount and can get as much money as you want. Hard drinks are also smuggled inside the jail but at 3 times more price. If you want cash or durgs there are many prisoners in jail who when they go out on their court dates get them in their rectum. Its unbelievable but true. Except for a women everything is available in arthur road jail.
If you want to hire a servant you have to pay 500 rupees per month. The servants are mostly small time robbers or drug peddlers who wash your clothes, press your leg, makes tea and cooks fried food. These servants feel life is better in prison as you get 2 times food, breakfast, tea and some money which is difficult for them to get out side jail.
prisoners or the under trials as they are known have no work to do unlike
prisoners shown in movies. Here you have only to kill time by
playing cards or taking walk, doing exercise and wait for the next court
date where you get chance to meet your friends and relatives.
one corner of the barrack is the temple and in the other corner kuran is
kept. Mostly all prisoners are religious by nature. When I was
in jail there was 11 days ganapti function and it was well organized by
the prisoners. All 11 days aarti/devotional songs were played. Even
they managed to get ganapati photo/small idol and decoration was done. On the
last day all prisoners were taking a small ganesh murthi for visarjan in a
small drum out side the barrack.
On the last day of release the police delay your release by 3 to 4 hours and give excuse that some paper work has to be done. But if you give them 2000 rupees which they took from my relatives who were waiting outside the jail they release you in 30 minutes. All this was happening when the lady jailer Ms. Swati Sathe was so strict and non corrupt. Imagine when a corrupt jailor comes what will happens inside?????
: if you have money and are highly influential then you can enjoy jail life.
|OTHER LINKS OF JAIL IN INDIA & ARTHUR ROAD JAIL, BYCULLA, MUMBAI,
Tribunal fines, issues notice to Pune police
Mumbai: The Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) on Tuesday ordered high-profile
Pune police commissioner Meeran Borwankar to pay a Rs 25,000 fine
within a week, and also initiated contempt proceedings against her for
failure to implement the tribunal’s directive to consider promoting a
head constable to the post of assistant sub-inspector of police. This is
the first time in the recent past that the MAT has taken a highranking IPS
official to task.