G N Saibaba: DUTA Statement demanding release

April 15, 2015

Statement from Delhi University Teachers Association

State Violating Fundamental Rights of Dr. G. N. Saibaba
DUTA demands Immediate Release

In the eleven months that DU’s teacher-activist Dr. G.N. Saibaba has been incarcerated, under UAPA provisions, in the Nagpur Central Jail, he has been subjected to barbaric treatment by the jail authorities and the Maharashtra Police. Dr. Saibaba’s acute physical disability and life-threatening conditions have been disregarded and he has been denied basic facilities including toilet facilities and helper, prescribed nutrients and medicines necessary for his survival. He is 90% disabled and bound to a wheelchair. He is also suffering from a deteriorating heart-illness and has been medically advised to undergo immediate angiography. Despite this, he has been deliberately confined in circumstances that have only speeded up the further deterioration of his health condition. This amounts to a deliberate slow poisoning and judicial murder by the State. The DUTA believes that the State, under no pretext, has the prerogative to withdraw a citizen’s Fundamental Right to Life. However, that is precisely the case in relation to Dr. Saibaba’s present situation.

It is tragic enough that despite being required to safeguard and uphold constitutional democracy, the State has chosen to deny a person the right to hold on to his political beliefs. Further, it is nothing short of a monstrous travesty of justice to presume his guilt even before the law has had the opportunity to study the entirety of evidence and reach any conclusion on the charges that have been levelled against Dr. Saibaba. The DUTA reiterates its sense of outrage at the unlawful and utterly undemocratic manner in which his ‘arrest’ was carried out in May 2014. The police have trampled upon the civil rights of Dr. Saibaba and his family members. Its impunity merits widespread disapproval and protest from all civilised and democratic sections of society. The DUTA expresses its shock that Dr. Saibaba had to resort to a hunger-strike in the Nagpur Central Jail in order to draw attention to the barbaric conditions in which he was being kept. After six days of hunger strike, during which there was no response from the jail authorities, he became unconscious and had to be admitted to hospital. Now that he has been brought back to the jail, the DUTA expresses grave concern for his safety and condemns the Jail authorities and Maharashtra Police for attempting to deviously eliminate him in custody.

The DUTA demands an immediate release of Dr. G.N. Saibaba and urges the State to grant him the right to face trial under relevant sections of the Cr.pc, including Section 437. It also calls upon all civil liberties and democratic rights organisations to collectively strive to secure justice for Dr. Saibaba.

NANDITA NARAIN – President DUTA
HARISH KHANNA – Secretary, DUTA

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DSU statement in solidarity with the hunger strike of Dr. G.N. Saibaba

The anda cell (or the egg-shaped solitary confines) of the notorious Nagpur Central Jail are, in the words of its former inmate Arun Ferreira, designed not to break out of, but to break the ones confined in it. But often, as is the case with political prisoners, it is not enough to break their spirits or their struggles for their rights. And that is when physical force, brutal torture or denial of medical assistance are resorted to by prison authorities to “teach them a lesson”. That is precisely what is being resorted by the jail authorities against Dr. GN Saibaba as his medication and prescribed dietary supplements are being denied deliberately. In protest Saibaba has been on a Hunger Strike since April 11th demanding immediate provision of his life support medicines and food. DSU stands by his struggle and that of every political prisoner for their democratic rights.

Saibaba was arrested about a year ago on preposterous charges under UAPA after being branded and framed for having connections with the Maoists. As routinely practiced by the Indian state with its police, media, draconian laws and the judiciary, the effort has been to silence a most vocal voice speaking up against anti-people policies of the state-corporate nexus, against their war on people, against Green Hunt and a voice that dares to dream of a better society, of revolution. So, on the one hand someone like Maya Kodnani is released on bail for “ill health” with no question asked, just on the other hand the judiciary remains blind to the health of someone like GN Saibaba. In the last order by the Sessions Court dated 4th March the judge referred to the reports of the Superintendent and the Chief Medical Officer of the Nagpur Central Prison which, while admitting the delicate medical condition of Saibaba, stated that he was being treated at the Government Medical College Hospital as well as the Super Speciality Hospital in Nagpur and that they were providing food supplements as per his medical requirements. It was on the basis of such reports that the bail on medical grounds was denied to Saibaba. However, despite such claims by the prison authorities made before the court, the prison administration has not only continued to deny him proper medical treatment and food supplements, but also now even stopped certain crucial items that were earlier allowed to him. The recent flight of five under-trial prisoners from the prison is being used as a pretext for this clampdown and denial of medication! It was a cruel joke in the first place to kidnap & incarcerate a 90% disabled person in solitary confinement. But to apprehend that a person on wheelchair could be planning a prison-break and on that pretext to stop prescribed life-support medication to a polio paralysis and chronic heart patient in need of angioplasty is far more obnoxious.

Similarly, the use of brute force is also common to break the determination of political prisoners – those who dare to dissent. For instance, on 20th March in the same Nagpur Central Jail the police ganged up to brutally beat up Com. Hem for his ‘crime’ of daring to exercise his right of not being handcuffed in transit for medical treatment to the hospital as per Supreme court ruling! But then, such tortures or prison bars has never been able to contain the prairie-fire that sweeps across the country harnessing the anger of the oppressed millions and their determination for revolutionary transformation. As Hem, Saibaba and countless others continue the struggle for a democratic & just society from behind the bars, it is all of our duty to carry on the same outside while demanding their release.

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POLITICAL PRISONER, G N SAIBABA ON HUNGER STRIKE FROM SATURDAY, 11TH APRIL, 2015

Dr. G N Saibaba, Delhi University Professor, who has been in incarceration since 9th May, 2014 has commenced an indefinite hunger strike from 11-04-2015 demanding proper medical treatment and food, both of which are being denied to him by the authorities of the Nagpur Central Prison.

Dr. Saibaba, who is presently lodged in the notorious Anda Barrack of the Nagpur Prison has been denied bail twice by the Sessions Court, Gadchiroli and once by the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court. In the last order by the Sessions Court dated 4th March, 2015 the Sessions Judge referred to the reports of the Superintendent and the Chief Medical Officer of the Nagpur Central Prison which, while admitting the delicate medical condition of Saibaba, stated that he was being treated at the Government Medical College Hospital as well as the Super Speciality Hospital in Nagpur and that they were providing food supplements as per his medical requirements. It was on the basis of such reports that bail on medical grounds was denied to Saibaba.

However, despite such claims by the prison authorities made before the court, the prison administration has not only continued to deny him proper medical treatment and food supplements, but also now even stopped certain items that were earlier allowed to him.

Faced with a situation of a steady deterioration in his health condition, Saibaba has decided to protest and has completely stopped taking food from Saturday.

His lawyers, who met him on Monday, 13th April, 2015, immediately submitted a memorandum to the DIG (Prisons) East Region, the prison authority under whose jurisdiction the Nagpur Prison falls. The official however merely received the memorandum and refused to respond to the issues raised by Saibaba. He did not even indicate any willingness to allow the essentials that the prison report to the court has stated that they were providing.

Immediate action is called for to protect the life and health of Dr. G N Saibaba.