Prof. Saibaba to begin hunger strike for books and medicines

Nagpur: Professor G.N Saibaba, the partially paralyzed professor of Delhi University, is said to go on a hunger strike from October 21 as he is not being allowed to receive letters, books, and medicines. Saibaba is currently serving a life sentence in solitary confinement in an anda cell of the Nagpur Central Jail, for having Maoist links.

Prof. Saibaba, a polio victim, is 90% physically disabled and wheelchair-bound, and suffers from pancreatitis, high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, and chronic back pain.

In a letter to the head of Maharashtra’s prisons, additional DGP Sunil Ramanand, Saibaba’s wife A.S. Vasantha Kumari has written that the jailed professor had decided to go on a hunger strike to protest “the inhuman behavior and unfair restrictions laid down by authorities”.

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“Saibaba who is lodged in jail since 2014 has been denied all basic human rights where he is not given any letters or allowed any phone calls from me for over a month,” she said. Saibaba has demanded that he be allowed to receive medicines, letters, books and newspaper clippings from his family, and also permission to make phone calls to them once a week.

Referring to the restrictions, she said: “All these books supplied to him are in English, some of them are poetry books and some of them are either novels or literature-based books that are not banned under the law of the land….

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The 53-year-old professor taught English at Delhi University’s Ram Lal Anand College until his arrest in 2014. Three appeals by United Nations human rights experts to shift him to a better-equipped jail nearer his family; to provide him urgent medical care; to remove him from solitary confinement, have been rejected.

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