One year passed since the abduction-arrest of GN Saibaba by Indian state. With a 90 per cent disability Saibaba is lecturer of English at Ramlal Anand College, Delhi University and he is being deprived of proper medication and care that is needed for his safety and life. In the year he’s been in prison, his physical condition has deteriorated alarmingly. He is in constant, excruciating pain.
But he is denied of bail like many other in India and his ‘crime’ is to speak for the oppressed masses, Adivaisi, Dalits and Muslims.
To know more about him and his case (and many others), read Arundhati Roy’s article at:
The theatrical trailer of COURT, a winner of 17 International awards An Indian reviewer said the film is a “remarkably assured, engrossing study of the power of the law and order machinery to crush protest through delays, deferred hearings and demands for further evidence.” Forbes magazine in India said Chaitanya Tamhane, the director, is “Indian cinema’s new voice of subversion.”
Synopsis:A sewerage worker’s dead body is found inside a manhole in Mumbai. An ageing folk singer is tried in court on charges of abetment of suicide. He is accused of performing an inflammatory song which might have incited the worker to commit the act. As the trial unfolds, the personal lives of the lawyers and the judge involved in the case are observed outside the court.
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A Law Less Majestic
Sanctioned by an archaic law and other draconian legislation, “sedition against the state” is a handy tool to fell voices of dissent
SEDITION — Section 124A, Indian Penal Code, 1860: “Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by law in India.” Punishment: Fine, or imprisonment of three years to life. Shall be punished with 104 (imprisonment for life), to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine. Exception: Criticism, to be determined by the judiciary
UAPA —Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967:Following a constitutional amendment, UAPA was enacted to “impose, by law, reasonable restrictions in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, on the (i) freedom of speech and expression (ii) right to assemble peaceably and without arms and (iii) right to form associations or unions”
Punishment: Penalties ranging from five years to life imprisonment along with fines. If the offence leads to loss of life, a death sentence can be awarded. Unlawful associations: Secessionist and terrorist associations; to be determined and notified by ministry of home affairs
Behind every man who has been labelled ‘seditious’ by the State is a law that goes back 155 years. Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code dates to 1860, three years after the British were rattled by what came to be known as the Sepoy Mutiny. There is also the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, a handy tool to silence ‘dangerous’ people with ‘dangerous’ ideas. Why, a week before it was held unconstitutional, Samajwadi Party leader and UP cabinet minister Azam Khan used Section 66A of the Information Technology Act to penalise a Class 11 student in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh.
The police are arbitrary and indiscriminate in the use of the sedition law, arresting people even for activities like singing, acting in street plays, reciting poems, painting graffiti on walls, not standing up during the national anthem or for cheering the Pakistani cricket team. These have, of course, usually accompanied the more serious charges of sympathising, funding or acting with Maoists or suspected terror organisations.
Condemn The Continuing Incarceration And Violation Of The Rights And Dignity Of Political Prisoner Dr. G N Saibaba!
The Case Of Dr. G N Saibaba Exposes The Vindictive Nature Of A Legally Challenged System!
Release Dr. G N Saibaba Unconditionally!
Eleven months have passed after Dr. GN Saibaba was abducted from the Delhi University North Campus premises on 09 May 2014 by the Maharashtra police. Dr. Saibaba was produced in the remote far flung Aheri police station in the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border to be charged under several sections of the worst draconian legislation the UAPA. Dr. GN Saibaba, joint secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) and a tireless campaigner against the policies of loot and plunder of the successive governments in India, euphemistically called as Operation Green Hunt (OGH) had become the target of ire of the state with mounting criticism from the opinionated sections of the progressive, liberal middle-class as well as the rising protests of the vast sections of the people against the so-called development policies of the government which would and is resulting in the loss of livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of dalits and adivasis—the poorest of the poor in the subcontinent.
In the last eleven months of his incarceration, Dr. Saibaba has repeatedly brought before the court as well as the jail authorities the pressing need for his grant of bail, not on any humanitarian grounds, but on the merit of law as sanctioned by the provisions that are there for the differently-abled. He has pointed out to the judge in many of the video conferences—as he was produced in the court only once and the rest of the dates of hearing / production have been met through the video conference facility, which is also a grievous infringement of his fundamental right—that the facilities in the Nagpur Central Jail are little or none to meet even the survival requirements of a 90 percent disabled and wheel chair bound person like him. But as we can see, the court preferred to stand by the prosecution, in an atmosphere vitiated by the media which profiled the wheel chair bound activist academic as a dreaded and dangerous demagogue having links with a proscribed organization, the CPI (Maoist). In the due course of his fight for justice through his lawyers, Dr. Saibaba’s plea for bail was twice rejected by the Sessions Court of Gadchiroli and once by the Nagpur bench of the Maharashtra High Court. But the facts can’t be belied. Saibaba’s concern about his fragile health grew larger as he was diagnosed with a bend spinal cord resulting in rib crowding and the lungs getting affected. Being a heart patient the troubles with his heart further compounded and the latest medical report requires him to undergo an angiography the post-recovery of which can be fatal in the prison stay. Further tests showed stones in the gall bladder. Continue reading →
Delhi University professor GN Saibaba (centre) is lodged in Nagpur jail after police booked him for alleged links with Maoists. (News Agency photo)
A Delhi University professor, arrested for allegedly being a Maoist sympathiser, launched an indefinite hunger strike on Sunday, protesting against the inhuman treatment at the Nagpur central jail, where he is currently lodged.
GN Saibaba was arrested by the Gadchiroli police in May last year and booked under six sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
On Tuesday, former high court judge and human rights activist BG Kolse-Patil said Saibaba – who is wheelchair-bound as he is physically-challenged – was not given a personal assistant in the jail and was being denied basic needs.
[It is horrifying to consider the sadistic glee of police and prison officials, as they carry on with their interrogation and torture of Professor GN Saibaba, jailed for his opposition to the crimes of the Indian State. This article from a Mumbai (where he is being held) newspaper details the physical and medical mistreatment of Prof. Saibaba, even as protests across India and around the world continue to grow. — Frontlines ed.]
G N Saibaba is physically challenged and has a history of heart disease
By Prateek Goyal, Pune Mirror, May 14, 2014
Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee appeals to State human rights commission, claiming G N Saibaba needs to be provided with basic facilities
The Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC) has appealed to the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC), asking that wheelchair-bound Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, arrested for his alleged affiliation with Maoist groups and confined in Nagpur jail, should not be tortured during interrogation and provided with basic facilities.
A representative of APCLC and a fellow of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) V Hargopal met former justice of Kerala High Court and current chairman of MSHRC, S R Bannurmath, in this regard on Monday.
Condemn the abduction of Delhi University Prof. GN Saibaba, by the Indian state security forces!
While the Indian state and its imperialist masters harp about India’s overall advances and continue to portray it as “the largest democracy in the world”, in the very heart of its capital in Delhi, on May 9, 2014, in broad day light, in full view of CCTV monitored by the local police, the Indian security forces, unashamedly assaulted and abducted Delhi University Professor, Dr GN Saibaba.
After Dr. Saibaba, who suffers from 90% disability and is wheelchair bound, was taken away blindfolded from within the university premises, it took a mysterious call to Vasantha, his partner, from some unknown location in Delhi disclosing it to her that her husband was being taken to Gadchiroli in Maharashtram. Since then, according to the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners’(CRPP) statement, issued in New Delhi on 10-05-2014, the lawyers in Aheri court in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra have confirmed that Dr. Saibaba has been produced before the magistrate and was sent into judicial custody.
Dr GN Saibaba’s is a long standing peoples’ rights activist. He is the joint secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) and one of the central conveners of the “Forum Against War on People” that spearheaded the mobilisation of public opinion in India and abroad against the shameful “Operation Green Hunt” – another clean name amongst others for the Indian state’s genocidal war on the tribal people of India – that aims to displace millions of people from this mineral rich area of India and auction off the land and its resources to domestic and international mining corporations to exploit. Continue reading →
9th May 2014 Against the arbitrary arrest of Prof. G N Saibaba
Dr. G N Saibaba, Assistant Professor at Ramlal Anand College, Delhi University, was abducted by the Maharashtra police today, 9th May around 1.00 PM. He was in the Daulat Ram College for examination duty. The incident came to light when Vasantha, Prof. Saibaba’s wife, got a mysterious call around 3 p.m., informing her that her husband is being taken to Gadhchiroli by the Maharashtra police. There is otherwise no official intimation from the police about his arrest or charges against him so far. His driver and the car also were missing for several hours after that.
Vasantha, accompanied by Delhi University teachers, lodged a missing person complaint at the Maurice Nagar police station an hour later. Maurice Nagar police has now confirmed that Maharashtra Police came with a non-bailable warrant against Dr. Saibaba. Later, Dr. Saibaba managed to get hold of a cell-phone from someone at the airport and speak briefly to his daughter, before the phone was snatched away from him. He confirmed that he was inside the Delhi airport and being taken to Nagpur by the Gadchiroli police.
Dr. Saibaba has been facing harassment and intimidation since the last one year. His house was raided and his personal belongings taken away in the name of investigation. Clearly there is an attempt to frame him up. The Delhi University Teachers Association have earlier denounced these attempts by the police. Now the police have acted without any prior information and abducted Dr. Saibaba.
Prof. Saibaba suffers from 90 per cent disabilities and is strapped onto a wheelchair. To harass and intimidate him like this is a gross violation of his basic human rights.
We strongly condemn this arbitrary and illegal action by the police in connivance with the University authorities. This is an attempt to stifle voices of dissent and suppress those who have been vocal against injustice and oppression.
Rise! Resist! Liberate! Revolutionary Democratic Front [RDF]
Condemn the dastardly clandestine abduction of Dr. GN Saibaba, Joint-Secretary of RDF, by the Maharashtra Police!
Today, the 9th of May, plain-clothed personnel of the Maharashtra Police abducted Dr. GN Saibaba while he was returning home from Daulat Ram College in Delhi University after examination duty. Dr. Saibaba, who suffers from 90% disability and is on a wheelchair, was blindfolded and pushed into a vehicle. After this secretive arrest of Dr Saibaba from within the university premises, it is believed he is being taken to Gadchiroli in Maharashtra by flight. None of his family members were informed and after repeated efforts to contact him, the driver of his vehicle informed the family of his abduction. This stealthy and dastardly abduction of a university professor smacks of the desperation of the Maharashtra police and violates the basic human right of an upstanding, democratic voice in this country. This abduction, it is believed, to be with regards to a fabricated case filed by the Maharashtra police that subsequently conducted a raid and an interrogation at Dr. Saibaba’s residence on the 12th of September and 7th of January respectively. During both the raid and the interrogation, Dr. Saibaba and his family extended their full cooperation with the police and intelligence forces. This abduction by Maharashtra Police reflects the extent to which the police can stoop to rake up false charges in fabricated cases and implicate voices that speak up for the democratic rights of people.
President of RDF in Uttarakhand, Jeevan Chandra, was similarly picked up on 5th of May in Uttarakhand. The charges against him were that of having connections with the Maoists and calling for the boycott of the elections. RDF strongly condemns the abduction of Dr. Saibaba and the abduction and arrest of Jeevan Chandra by the police force.
RDF calls for a protest demonstration at Maharashtra Sadan on 10th of May (Saturday) at 11 am.
We appeal to revolutionary and democratic individuals and organizations to join in large numbers.
PROTEST DEMONSTRATION against clandestine abduction of Dr. GN Saibaba by Maharashtra Police at Maharashtra Sadan, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, on 10th May (SATURDAY) at 11 am.
Varavara Rao, President, RDF (09676541715) Rajkishore, General Secretary, RDF (09717583539)
(Press Note circulated in the Press Conference held on the 14th of September in Professor GN Saibaba’s house along with the report on proceedings)
On Thursday, 12 September 2013, a 50 strong police contingent drawn from the Maharashtra Police Force, the Delhi Police Special Cell and the Maurice Nagar police thana, raided the residence of Dr. Saibaba, an Asst. Prof. in English at Ram Lal Anand College. They brought computer technicians with them. Dr. Saibaba, his wife and their minor 15-year old daughter were detained for about four hours from 3.00 PM onward for an investigation into the use of his residence “as a place for the deposit of stolen property”. Immediately, the iron main gate of the house and the house door itself were locked from within and physically barred by police personnel, and phones of all including the driver were seized. The driver’s phone was destroyed, and all other phones were seized. At the end of the search, two phones were returned after the teachers in DU protested about leaving the family with no means of communication. Dr. Saibaba was not allowed to contact his lawyer, or his colleagues to ensure that the “investigation” would be a fair and transparent one. Teachers who reached the spot volunteered to be observers. But they were not allowed into the premises. During the course of this wholly baseless investigation, the entire family was kept captive –sometimes individually – prevented from making or receiving calls, or meeting anyone who sought to meet them. The police locked themselves into various rooms of the house for long periods of time. Two terrified local barbers were picked up by the police and brought in as “neutral observers” for some part of the raid. They were also coerced into signing on the seizure sheet as witnesses. The police left sometime after some DU teachers arrived, began questioning the police and informing the media about the incident. After much persistence, the teachers managed to get the terrified child produced. The police left after confiscated a large number of college documents, pen-drives, a laptop, a tablet microchip, mobile phones (including the minor daughter’s phone), debit and credit cards, and bank passbooks, none of which items were “stolen property”.
A day later, the Gadchiroli police claimed the following incriminating evidence against Saibaba to some press persons: (1) that they have extracted a confession from the JNU student Hem Mishra stating that a microchip found in his possession was given to him by Dr. Saibaba; (2) that they have records of internet “chat sessions” between Dr. Saibaba and several top Maoist leaders; (3) that Dr. Saibaba was named in Mr. Kobad Ghandy’s “confession” as being a Maoist leader; (4) that Dr. Saibaba stands incriminated by virtue of being General Secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), which they alleged is a front for the CPI (Maoist). It appears that the police will use these, among other grounds, to frame charges against Dr. Saibaba, and arrest him as soon as possible. It may be noted here that: (a) Mr. Kobad Ghandy’s alleged “confession” was set aside by the courts as being fabricated by the AP police and inadmissible; (b) without dwelling on the police’s ludicrous imagination of the senior Maoist party leadership participating in “internet chat groups”, it may be noted that, by the police’s own account, these chat sessions are between persons named “Prakash” and “Chetan”, and the alleged “Maoist top leadership”; (c) there is no mention of Dr. Saibaba by name; (d) Dr. Saibaba has also categorically denied any knowledge of any microchip, or indeed of any contact on this matter with Hem Mishra; (e) The charge of harbouring “stolen property” is particularly outrageous, baseless and despicable. Continue reading →
GN Saibaba is a joint secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) and the convenor of several forums against Operation Greenhunt and the persecution of adivasis and tribal people in Central India. He teaches English at a DU college.
The Maharashtra police, along with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Delhi Police Special Cell, made a surprise search at the house of Delhi University professor GN Saibaba. They refused to entertain pleas by the wheelchair-bound professor-cum-activist to contact his lawyer or colleagues. Saibaba is a joint secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) and the convenor of several forums against Operation Greenhunt and the persecution of adivasis and tribal people in Central India. He teaches English at a DU college.
“Around 20 days ago, former JNU student and activist Hem Mishra was arrested. The police are trying to tie me up to that case. They came in and snatched away the cellular phones of my wife, my daughter and myself and refused to let us call or notify anyone of the search. None of us were allowed to leave, nor was anyone allowed to come in. We were detained in our own house,” Saibaba told TEHELKA. Saibaba claimed that the police told him that the search was in relation to the Hem Mishra case in Gadhchiroli. Mishra was arrested for alleged Maoist links. This is not the first time that an activist has been persecuted or arrested for activism in the forests of Central India. Continue reading →
Press Release By Committee For The Release Of Political Prisoners, 13 Sep 2013
Condemn The Criminal Designs Of The Joint Intelligence-Special Cell-Gadchiroli Police Combine To Implicate Prof. GN Saibaba Along with The False Charges Framed Against Hem Mishra, A JNU Student!
In an unprecedented act of terror to terrorise, on the 12 September 2013, around 3 pm, a joint operation of a team from the National Investigation Agency (NIA), 7 members from the Special Cell of the Delhi Police, 15 member police team from the Aheri police station, Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, 7 member police team from the Maurice Nagar Police Station, Delhi University—all put together 50 member squad—barged into the premises of the quarter in which Prof. GN Saibaba was staying with the family. The Aheri police team comprised of Mr. Suhas P Bawache who happens to be the Investigating officer of the case in which Hem Mishra, a JNU student has recently been shown as arrested in Aheri police station limits. Additional SP Shashi Kumar was also part of the team. The NIA team refused to reveal their identity. Sub Inspector Sanjeev Kumar identified himself as part of the Maurice Nagar Station while his colleague Narendra Dubey from the same station refused to reveal his rank. As mentioned before the team comprised of 50 members just to raid the premises of a family comprising of three—Prof. GN Saibaba who moves in a wheel chair with serious disability, his life partner AS Vasantha and their daughter Manjeera in her teens. Undoubtedly it was an act of intimidation, cold and calculative.
Prof. GN Saibaba had just returned from Ramlal Anand College where he teaches in the English department. Sooner than later the marauding team of police/intelligence had seized all the mobiles—Saibaba, his partner AS Vasantha and daughter Manjeera—and confined them to a room.Continue reading →
A Report onThe Public Meeting in Delhi on 3 August Demanding Judicial Inquiry
into the Killing of Azad, the Spokesperson and Polit Bureau member of the CPI ( Maoist)
along with Journalist Hem Chandra Pandey
3RD AUGUST 2010, NEW DELHI
The Public Meeting to demand the judicial enquiry into the killings of Azad, the spokesperson and Polit Bureau member of the CPI (Maoist) along with journalist Hem Chandra Pandey at Rajendra Bhavan, New Delhi was addressed by a large number of prominent citizens in the presence of packed auditorium. Dr. B D Sharma, former National Commissioner for Scheduled Castes and Tribes of Government of India chaired the public meeting and started the proceedings of the meeting by calling upon the audience to observe one minute’s silence in commemoration of Azad and Hem Chandra Pandey. Dr Anup Saraya a well-known doctor and democratic rights activist convened the meeting to start it proceedings.
G N Saibaba, conducting the meeting for the Chair told the audience that when he was killed, Azad was in the process of preparing the ground for talks on behalf of his party with the Government of India through Swami Agnivesh. In the manner and at the juncture in which he along with Hem Pandey has been killed has triggered a public uproar, and there is a strong demand to institute a judicial investigation into the circumstances of the killing of Azad and Hem Pandey. Continue reading →
[In this article, the Telegraph (UK) discloses a new governmental ceasefire offer, while repeating the police claim that Maoists were behind the attack on an express sleeper train–a claim that the CPI(Maoist) and PCAPA have denied]
By Dean Nelson in New Delhi
02 Jun 2010
Its offer, made in a letter from home secretary P Chidambaram, emerged just days after a Maoist attack on an express sleeper train from Calcutta to Mumbai left more than 140 passengers dead. Almost all were civilians.
The Indian government has failed to contain rising violence and Maoist influence has spread to one third of India’s 600-plus districts. Prime minister Manmohan Singh has described the insurgency as India’s greatest security challenge.
The Maoists, known as ‘Naxalites’ in India after Naxalbari, West Bengal where their uprising began in 1967, are now a powerful force in Orissa, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand states. Their rebellion is for land reform and to protect tribals and poor farmers forced from their land to make way for mining and other developments. Continue reading →
Statement from the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF):
Yesterday’s( 28 May 2010) Gnaneshwari Express and a goods train tragedy near Kharagpur in West Bengal in which 80 people were killed and 200 injured was attributed to CPI(Maoist) and Peoples Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) by the media. The media unscrupulously played false news stories blaming CPI (Maoist) and Peoples Committee for two days. Some political parties like Trinomial Congress and the ruling CPI(Marxist) also blamed these organisations without any verification. Significantly Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has declined to attribute the blame on the CPI (Maoist) and also announced that there was no evidence of any bomb blast in the incident.
The Union Home Minister has ordered an enquiry to find out any possibility of sabotage. During the day the leaders of CPI (Maoist) clarified through a long statement that they were not responsible for the train tragedy and condemned any possible sabotage work if any force involved behind the incident. They have also expressed their condolences for the families of deceased. The PCAPA also clarified that their activists are not involved in this incident. They suspected the ruling CPI(Marxist) to have been involved in the sabotage desperately trying to tilt the public opinion against the fighting forces.
Purposefully the media did not cover the statement issued by the CPI (Maoist) while playing the false stories and commentaries blaming the CPI (Maoist) for the incident. Some all India newspapers like The Hindu wrote editorials blaming the CPI (Maoist) for the incident. Many other newspapers wrote major articles decrying the CPI (Maoist) as terrorist attributing the blame on them. Now when the clarifications come from CPI (Maoist) and PCAPA, will these media houses withdraw their false stories and give the facts to the people? Will they regret for propagating the false news?
These two days of false propaganda is made with a malicious intension of maligning the CPI (Maoist) and PCAPA. Continue reading →