Wheelchair bound, Delhi University Professor GN Saibaba, who was awarded life imprisonment for aiding and abetting Naxal activities, has written an emotional letter about his health status to wife Vasantha. In the letter, 90 per cent disabled, Delhi University professor writes, “My health is not at all good. I am going through extreme pain in my abdomen and left hand. My head is breaking. Urination has been difficult with extreme pain and burning urination. I am writing this letter with great difficulty and taking breaks.” Last year, in March 2017, Sessions court of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, had convicted Professor along with five others for having alleged links with Maoists and ‘waging war’ against India. The court had incarcerated Saibaba with life imprisonment under the various sections 13, 18, 20, 38, 39 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and 120 B(criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code (IPC). Gokarakonda Naga Saibaba was an English Professor in Ram Lal College of Delhi University.
This is not the first time Saibaba has written to his wife regarding his deteriorating health, in the past also, the professor had written about his ailments, lack of minimum facilities and manhandling done by the police escort personnel while handling the wheel chair bound professor. Meanwhile, Saibaba’s wife, Vasantha has met Rajiv Singh, Convenor, Enquiry team, NHRC. She has appealed to form a doctor’s team from AIIMS to investigate and address of GN Saibaba’s severe ailments. In her letter to NHRC, Vasantha has written, “My husband reported that the mishandling of police escort personnel he narrowly escape a fall from the wheelchair and the danger of breaking polio affected bones. They were not even aware how to handle him because they were not trained to handle a severely disabled person. If something untoward happens in the hands of the police escort personnel, no one will take the responsibility for any damage to my husband’s body like what happened in May 2014 when he was arrested,” while adding,” My husband’s left-hand disfunctioning happened after a severe damage to muscles and nerves because of the mishandling at the time of incarceration.”
On contacting Vasantha, Saibaba’s wife told Newsclick, “For the first 12 months after Saibaba’s arrest, there was no treatment, only once they took him to the hospital in October but now, when the hearing of the bail petition which was filed in last year is near and the jail authorities are taking him to the Nagpur Government Medical College, so that they can show records and the bail is withdrawn,” while adding that, “this is a plain conspiracy on their part.” “They had taken him to GMC on 26th. 3 people NHRC had gone there. On April 2, 3, 4 they will be taking him to speciality ward.” In her previous letter to the Chairman of Parliament Standing Committee on Public Greviances, Law and Justice, Vasantha had written, “I write this letter to you to draw your attention to a sinister attempt within the Nagpur jail by the prison authorities to jeopardise the health of my husband, who is already in an ailing condition. Whether an under trial or a convicted, one is entitled to his Right to life, as guaranteed in the Constitution of India. However, the systemic negligence and ill treatment of Saibaba by the Nagpur Jail authorities is jeopardising that very right of his and endangering his life. He already has 19 health conditions for which he was undergoing treatment. Now his pancreas too having been affected, he is unable to digest the food provided in jail. A surgery that was scheduled could not take place due to his incarceration. This surgery is urgent and if delayed his life may be in danger. It is known that untreated pancreatitis, apart from being agonising, is also life-threatening.” She also added that, " prosecution is misleading the case without producing any witness on electronic evidence. The whole judgement gave sentenece of life imprisonment on electronic evidence. But in trial court electronic evidences were never produced. No witness, no proof, no defence and cross examination also never ever happened."
Judgment that led to Delhi University professor’s conviction:
Professor Saibaba, along with Hem Mishra, Prashant Rahi, Mahesh Kariman Tirki and Pandu Narote were sentenced to life imprisonment in March 2017, while Vijay Tirki was sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment. In its judgment the court had observed, “ The allegations against accused Nos.1 to 6 are that on or before 12.9.2013 within India they hatched criminal conspiracy to wage war against the Government of India and to collect people with the intention of waging war against the Government of India,” while adding that Hem Mishra and Saibaba were found in possession of naxal literature, pamphlets, letters, correspondence, audio-video, electronic materials which were to be used for inciting the people to create violence to cause public disorder.” The Sessions Judge S S Shinde said, “Merely because Saibaba is 90 per cent disabled is no ground to show him leniency… he is physically handicapped but he is mentally fit, a thinktank and a high-profile leader of banned organisations.”