JYOTI PUNWANI: How 5 Reliance Workers Fighting For A Better Deal Found Themselves In Jail On Terrorism Charges

Saidulu Singapanga’s most vivid memory of  the 1185 days he spent in custody,  since he was  arrested in February 2018 under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), 1967, was when his wife and three children came to visit him in a police lock-up a few days after his arrest. It was the birthday of his daughters, aged 11 and 9. The two girls and their brother came towards him eagerly, saw his handcuffs and drew back in fear. 

Singapanga, 39, was the last of five Reliance Energy Ltd (now Reliance Infrastructure Ltd) contract workers from the densely packed working-class eastern Mumbai neighbourhood of Kamraj Nagar in Ghatkopar detained that year—the other four were arrested in January, a month before he was.

Singapanga’s four colleagues were granted bail in December 2018 because the Maharashtra police’s anti-terorrism squad did not file a chargesheet within 90 days, as they were required to under the UAPA. An extension to this period was  set aside by the Bombay High Court because neither the accused nor their lawyers were informed or present in a sessions  court when it was granted….


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