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The case of the Wheelchair-bound DU professor GN Saibaba imprisoned in India


Wheelchair-bound Delhi University professor G N Saibaba,49, is currently imprisoned in the Nagpur central jail in the western state of Maharashtra. He has been in Nagpur Central Prison since his arrest in May 2014 by the Maharashtra Police, from the university campus along with eight others.

Nearly 100 people had gathered at Jantar Mantar, in a protest holding banners and shouting slogans.

Nandita Narain, the president of the Delhi University Teachers’ Association and a professor of mathematics at St Stephen’s College said.”He is a well-known civil rights activist who has spoken up for all the marginalised sections and participated in cases involving Dalits, tribals, women and [the] underprivileged,” she also said that the professor is “an outstanding teacher and a scholar”.

Worsening health of Saibaba, charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for alleged Maoist links for being in touch with Maoist leader Ganapathy, the professor of English literature at Ram Lal Anand College of Delhi University was sent to jail.

When Supreme Court has ruled that anybody cannot be arrested for being a member of a banned organisation or sharing its ideology. The police accused him on various charges that he has actively participated in “anti-national” or Maoist activities.

Saibaba’s wife, AS Vasantha, said that the police have carried out a “witch-hunt” against her husband. “They have framed him because he campaigned against mining in the tribal areas that has displaced tens of thousands of the local population.”

Vasantha also said that. “He spoke against Operation Green Hunt, mobilised people and campaigned for tribal rights at national as well as international level. My husband has been targeted because his campaign has led to withdrawal of investments in the region by MNCs [multi-national companies].”

She has questioned why her husband is not out on bail while the others are. Saibaba’s bail had been rejected on three occasions. He submitted that the single judge of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court had rejected the plea.

Vasantha pointed out his health issues and said his left hand is now partially paralysed and, on January 5, Saibaba himself wrote a four-page letter asking for urgent medical treatment, without which he says he will lose the use of his left hand.

But the police have said that they are providing all of the necessary facilities for somebody in Saibaba’s condition and denied that his health is a cause for concern.

The officer said.”Doctors don’t say he is going to die. In the medical report submitted to [the] High Court, doctors suggested only for physiotherapy. His heart condition is also normal.”

Saibaba’s lawyers have filed an appeal in the Supreme Court, which will decide whether the disabled professor will be granted bail or forced to remain in prison awaiting trial.

Vasantha is calling for unconditional bail for her husband. “My husband’s health is deteriorating. He is in pain,” she said. “His life is in danger if he continues to remain in jail.”

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