Jailed ex-DU professor GN Saibaba tests positive for COVID-19

In July last year, Saibaba's bail plea citing his poor health before the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court was rejected.

Nagpur: Former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba, who is serving a life term in Nagpur central prison for Maoist links since 2014, has tested positive for COVID-19, a jail official said on Saturday. Along with him, three other inmates of the jail were found to have contracted the infection, he said.

“G N Saibaba tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. He will be taken for a CT scan and other tests, after which doctors will decide whether to shift him to the Government Medical College and Hospital for treatment,” jail superintendent Anup Kumre said.

Earlier in the day, reports emerged that said that he contracted the viral disease citing Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s list.

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The professor was arrested in 2014. In 2017, a court in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli had convicted him and four others for Maoist links and indulging in activities amounting to waging war against the country. Ever since his conviction, Saibaba is lodged in the Nagpur jail.

Saibaba is wheelchair-bound due to polio, with 90 per cent physical disabilities. In July last year, Saibaba has filed a bail application before the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court, saying his weak health along with co-morbidities makes him vulnerable to contract the COVID-19 infection. His plea was rejected.

The committee for the defence and release of Dr GN Saibaba in Hyderabad too wrote to Maharashtra state government and the central government to release him by granting him bail or parole immediately in view of COVID-19.

This week, gangster Arun Gawli and four other inmates of Nagpur jail had tested positive for the infection. Central Jail lodges over 2,250 prisoners and is considered sensitive to the transmission of the virus. In June and July, over 300 prisoners and some staff had tested positive. A jail guard was reportedly considered a super spreader at that time.

With inputs from PTI

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