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  India   All India  07 Mar 2017  Disabled DU professor GN Saibaba gets life term for Maoist links

Disabled DU professor GN Saibaba gets life term for Maoist links

Published : Mar 7, 2017, 4:44 pm IST
Updated : Mar 7, 2017, 5:21 pm IST

Saibaba, who is 90 per cent disabled and bound to a wheelchair, was first arrested in May 2014 but granted bail by the Supreme Court.

DU professor GN Saibaba. (Photo: File)
 DU professor GN Saibaba. (Photo: File)

New Delhi: Delhi University Professor GN Saibaba and four others were on Tuesday sentenced to life imprisonment for association with a front organisation of Maoists, and for ‘anti-national’ activities.

Along with Saibaba, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Hem Mishra, former journalist Prashant Rahi and three others were also convicted.

All six men were sentenced under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Special Public Prosecutor P Sathianathan demanded life sentence for all the six convicts. He also demanded that no reprieve should be given to Saibaba on health grounds, saying that in spite of his disability he had attended several conferences and seminars in India and abroad and allegedly propagated Maoist ideology.

The defense lawyer did not counter the allegations.

Hem Mishra was arrested along with Mahesh Tirkey and Pandu Narote at Aheri in Gadchiroli district in August 2013.

Based on the leads provided by them, Prashant Rahi and Vijay Tirkey were then arrested from Deori in Gondia district. Saibaba was arrested in May 2014 by Maharashtra's Gadchiroli police on charges of being a member of the banned CPI (Maoist), providing logistics and helping in recruitment for the group.

However, in March 2016, a Supreme Court bench of Justice JS Khehar and Justice Nagappan, acting on a special leave petition that challenged the rejection of the bail application of Saibaba by the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay HC, granted bail to the professor on health grounds.

The wheelchair-bound professor is 90 percent disabled and was paralysed from the waist-downwards after contracting polio in his childhood.

Saibaba suffers from a serious heart condition and needs help for every task including bathing, eating, washing and even going to the toilet, said the report.

While in jail, he was dragged by his hands by guards, which ruptured his nerves from his neck to his left shoulder and made his left hand immobile. He also fell unconscious several times during the 14 months he spent in prison.

Saibaba has been barred from entering the campus of Ram Lal Anand College, where he is a teacher. His salary has been halved by college authorities after instructions from the University authorities, who pushed his family out of the campus after his arrest. He has also been physically assaulted several times, said the report.

A robust online campaign demanding ‘justice’ for the professor has been launched.

Tags: gn saibaba, maoists, uapa, delhi university
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi