Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle

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Indian Court Charges Arundhati Roy with Contempt of Court for Writing on Injustice

[Upon revoking the bail and medical release for yet-untried political prisoner Professor GN Saibaba, Bombay High Court Justice Arum Choudari, according to The Hindu newspaper, “issued a notice to writer Arundhati Roy on an intervention plea filed by advocate Bhandarkar , who had blamed Ms.Roy for ‘interference with the administration of justice’ for writing an article in the Outlook magazine in support of Prof.Saibaba.”  This move to suppress the writings of the prominent writer and activist Arundhati Roy further illuminates the repressive and fascist character of the undemocratic Indian state and judiciary.  Roy’s May 2015 Outlook article, “Professor, P.O.W.” which earned the court’s “contempt” notice, is reprinted here below.  —  Frontlines ed.]

Professor, P.O.W.

So afraid is the government of this paralysed wheelchair-bound academic that the Maharashtra police had to abduct him for arrest
May 9, 2015, marks one year since Dr G.N. Saibaba, lecturer of English at Ramlal Anand College, Delhi University, was abducted by unknown men on his way home from work. When her husband went missing and his cellphone did not respond, Vasantha, Dr Saibaba’s wife, filed a missing person’s complaint in the local police station. Subsequently the unknown men identified themselves as the Maharashtra Police and described the abduction as an arrest.

 

Why did they abduct him in this way when they could easily have arrested him formally, this professor who happens to be wheelchair-bound and paralysed from his waist downwards since he was five years old? There were two reasons: First, because they knew from their previous visits to his house that if they picked him up from his home on the Delhi University campus they would have to deal with a crowd of angry people—professors, activists and students who loved and admired Professor Saibaba not just because he was a dedicated teacher but also because of his fearless political worldview. Second, because abducting him made it look as though they, armed only with their wit and daring, had tracked down and captured a dangerous terrorist. The truth is more prosaic. Many of us had known for a long time that Professor Saibaba was likely to be arrested. It had been the subject of open discussion for months. Never in all those months, right up to the day of his abduction, did it ever occur to him or to anybody else that he should do anything else but face up to it fair and square. In fact, during that period, he put in extra hours and finished his PhD on the Politics of the Discipline of Indian English Writing. Why did we think he would be arrested? What was his crime? Continue reading

India: Disabled Professor Denied Bail and Medical Care

Bombay HC rejects ailing DU professor GN Saibaba’s temporary bail plea

Speed News Desk|23 December 2015

The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has rejected the bail plea of Delhi University professor GN Saibaba, who was arrested by the Maharashtra Police for his alleged Maoist links.

The bench has asked the academician, who uses a wheelchair, to surrender in 48 hours, “failing which the police shall arrest him.

“The court said that his fundamental rights would be violated if it didn’t grant him bail. The court also took note of the fact that Saibaba is suffering from multiple health problems and needs to be moved around in a wheel-chair. He had dislocated his shoulder and has a crippled right hand due to spinal problems.

He was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. On 1 July, he was granted temporary bail on grounds of failing health. Saibaba had been in jail since his arrest in May 2014 from the Delhi University campus.

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Statement by Committee for the Defense and Release of Dr GN Saibaba

Statement of condemnation of the order to send Dr. G.N. Saibaba back to prison

Court cancels wheelchair-bound professor's bail, charges Arundhati Roy with contempt for defending himWe the undersigned are shocked to hear the news that Dr. G.N Saibaba’s application for permanent bail was rejected today by the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court. What is further appalling is that the High Court has also dismissed Saibaba’s interim bail order (Criminal Application No.785/2015), that was issued by a division bench led by the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court Justice Mohit Shah along with Justice Shukre on 30/06/2015 which granted him interim relief which in turn was extended by the same division bench till 31st December 2015, to avail treatments for his serious medical conditions. It was only after many democratic voices raised an alarm about the rapidly failing health condition of Saibaba, that the Bombay High Court intervened on the basis of a letter written to the Chief Justice by an activist named Purnima Upadhyay. The letter, which was suo moto converted to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by the High Court, resulted in Dr. Saibaba being granted temporary bail. Interrupting his ongoing treatment, the new judgment by a single judge of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has ordered Dr. Saibaba to surrender himself to the Nagpur prison within 48 hours! The order further states upon failure to do so, he shall be arrested by the police. Continue reading

A Palestinian Video/Song for Saibaba’s Freedom

[The solidarity video/song by a Palestinian poet marks a global defiance toward repressive powers.  Professor GN Saibaba’s case has drawn the attention and solidarity of people in India and around the world, especially from oppressed people who have faced the same political repression in other lands.  In thousands of cases, the Indian government (and other states which serve feudal and capitalist-imperialist interests) has rounded up political opponents, has made usual false accusations that their political activism is subversive or seditious, and kept them imprisoned for lengthy times.  In this was, the Indian state aims to break the spirit of political opponents and the people they serve, and to destroy their organizations and their supporters.  With all this, the aim of such political repression is to impose fear and enforce compliance and submission — and to prevent new debates and movements against injustices and oppressions.  We present this and other postings on the production of political imprisonment in India. — Frontlines ed.]

*Hungry*  —  Song from Palestine
Introducing text: Arundhati Roy, excerpted from *Outlook* essay:
‘Professor, P.O.W.’

‘Why is the government afraid of me? I am 90% disabled… But I think, I write’: GN Saibaba

[In thousands of cases, the Indian government (and other states which serve feudal and capitalist-imperialist interests) has rounded up political opponents, has made usual false accusations that their political activism is subversive or seditious, and kept them imprisoned for lengthy times.  In this was, the Indian state aims to break the spirit of political opponents and the people they serve, and to destroy their organizations and their supporters.  With all this, the aim of such political repression is to impose fear and enforce compliance and submission — and to prevent new debates and movements against injustices and oppressions.  We present this and other postings on the production of political imprisonment in India. — Frontlines ed.]

‘The State is filled with systemic violence which all of us have to resist,’ says the DU academic, out on bail after 14 months in jail for suspected links with Maoists.

INTERVIEW by Anumeha Yadav, ScrollIn, Jul 09, 2015
'Why is the government afraid of me? I am 90% disabled... But I think, I write': GN Saibaba

Photo Credit: Anumeha Yadav

Dr GN Saibaba, an English professor at the Delhi University accused of being a part of the banned CPI (Maoist) is back home after 14 months of imprisonment in Nagpur central jail. The police first raided the wheelchair-bound academic’s house on the university campus in September 2013 with the objective of recovering property allegedly stolen from Aheri in Maharashtra. They arrested him nine months later while he was returning from an examination centre in the university on May 9, 2014 accusing him under several sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
On July 3, the Bombay High Court granted him three months bail following reports of his deteriorating health condition in Nagpur jail. His trial is yet to begin.

 

Back at his home surrounded by his family members and his books, Dr Saibaba, who happens to be paralysed from his waist downwards due to polio since he was five years old, spoke fearlessly against what he described as the continuing repression of the state.

‘I am a teacher not a preacher’: Saibaba responds to charge of being ‘thorough Maoist’

[In thousands of cases, the Indian government (and other states which serve feudal and capitalist-imperialist interests) has rounded up political opponents, has made usual false accusations that their political activism is subversive or seditious, and kept them imprisoned for lengthy times.  In this was, the Indian state aims to break the spirit of political opponents and the people they serve, and to destroy their organizations and their supporters.  With all this, the aim of such political repression is to impose fear and enforce compliance and submission — and to prevent new debates and movements against injustices and oppressions.  We present this and other postings on the production of political imprisonment in India. — Frontlines ed.]

The cops believe Dr G Naga Saibaba, who was born and grew up in East Godavari in Andhra Pradesh, to be a scout for the outlawed Communist Party of India (CPI) Maoist who motivated and funneled leaders into strife torn regions for carrying on with the group’s violent agenda.

Jugal R Purohit   |   India Today  |   New Delhi, July 12, 2015
Dr G Naga Saibaba

The security establishment believes Dr G Naga Saibaba is a Maoist.

“He is like a General Post Office (GPO) of the Maoist insurgents because he ensures a smooth flow of information between the insurgents in the jungles and supporters in urban centres and abroad,” said a senior police officer in Maharashtra, aware of his case. The forty seven year old could only smile at this thought, sitting inside his official residence in Delhi’s North Campus. “If I am a GPO and the Indian state knows that, why disrupt the flow? They can gain more by stealthily monitoring me,” he replied. Dr. G Naga Saibaba, an activist, a teacher and someone who the security establishment believes to be a ‘thorough Maoist but for his handicap and family commitments’ returned home on July 4, following a three-month bail on medical grounds, secured from the Bombay High Court.

Continue reading

Indian Academic Suspected of Ties to Maoist Rebels Out of Jail – For Now

[In thousands of cases, the Indian government (and other states which serve feudal and capitalist-imperialist interests) has rounded up political opponents, has made usual false accusations that their political activism is subversive or seditious, and kept them imprisoned for lengthy times.  In this was, the Indian state aims to break the spirit of political opponents and the people they serve, and to destroy their organizations and their supporters.  With all this, the aim of such political repression is to impose fear and enforce compliance and submission — and to prevent new debates and movements against injustices and oppressions.  We present this and other postings on the production of political imprisonment in India. — Frontlines ed.]
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G.N. Saibaba (right) receives his doctoral degree from Indian President Pranab Mukherjee (left) at Delhi University, March 19, 2013. ( Courtesy of G.N. Saibaba)

By Rohit Wadhwaney, Benar News, July 9, 2015 

Locked up for more than a year in a dingy prison cell without proper medical care, a wheelchair-bound university professor accused of links to India’s Maoist guerrillas is struggling to come to terms with his temporary release from incarceration.
On July 3, G.N. Saibaba was released from Maharashtra state’s Nagpur Central Prison after the Bombay High Court granted him a three-month bail on medical grounds.
His 14-month imprisonment has taken a heavy toll on Saibaba, a professor of English literature at Delhi University who has been suspended. He suffers from post-polio residual paralysis, a disease that has left him mostly disabled since childhood.

India: Government Relents at Public Outrage At Abuse of Prisoner Dr. Saibaba, Grants Limited Medical Release

Jailed for alleged Maoist link, DU professor GN Saibaba gets bail

Worsening health of G N Saibaba, charged under the UAPA for alleged Maoist links, was the main ground for his release.

G N Saibaba, G N Saibaba gets bail bail for saibaba, saibaba gets bail, G N Saibaba gets bail, maoist, maoists, cpi maoists

Professor GN Saibaba

AdTech AdWritten by Aamir Khan, Indian Express | Mumbai | July 1, 2015

Wheelchair-bound Delhi University professor G N Saibaba has been granted bail after over a year, as the Bombay High Court Tuesday exercised powers to “protect” his fundamental rights. He has been ailing and will go to Delhi for treatment.

Worsening health of Saibaba, charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for alleged Maoist links, was the main ground for his release.

“If extraordinary powers enshrined under Article 226 is not exercised, this court will be failing in its duty to protect the fundamental rights of professor G N Saibaba, professor of English at Delhi University. Therefore, this court is inclined to direct respondents (jail authorities) to release him for three months for medical treatment and support of his family,” Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice S B Shukre observed.

Saibaba has been in Nagpur Central Prison since his arrest in May 2014 by the Maharashtra Police, from the university campus. Now that he is allowed to go to Delhi, he can undergo treatment for degeneration of spine and other neurological ailments.

The HC felt he needed his family’s round-the clock assistance. He has been asked to furnish a personal bond of Rs 50,000. He has been asked to not keep any mode of communication, such as laptop or cellphones, at his house.Dr GN
Public Prosecutor Sandeep Shinde wanted these bail conditions to be imposed. He opposed the reprieve saying Saibaba is associated with the banned CPI (Maoist) and there was possibility of him tampering with evidence. Shinde argued that Saibaba’s bail had been rejected on three occasions. He submitted that the single judge of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court had rejected the plea.
“It was after the sessions court refused him relief. This court cannot take suo motu cognisance in a PIL and grant him bail as it does not have jurisdiction. There is an alternate remedy available to him,” argued Shinde. He pointed that the hard disk retrieved from Saibaba’s house corroborated with evidence in memory cards gathered from a couple of accused who claimed getting it from Saibaba. They were supposed to deliver the memory cards to naxals,” said Shinde.

Activist Purnima Upadhyay, whose letter to the court highlighted Saibaba’s failing health, had pointed out difficulties faced by his family in getting him treated. His family stays in Delhi and his wife and brother have to travel frequently to meet him.

Upadhyay said when she visited Saibaba, she saw him being wheeled with assistance. He had dislocated his shoulder, besides having a crippled right hand due to spinal problems.

“He often gets muscle cramps. He has also been fainting. He said complications in his kidney and gall bladder led to urinal problems as he was on strong medication,” she said.

Allowing Saibaba’s brother and wife to meet him, a bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice A K Menon had earlier directed prison authorities to shift the professor to a hospital of his choice. The HC had rapped the police for ‘working blindly’ and treating the ailing professor ‘like an animal’.

Senior counsel Gayatri Singh, appearing for the petitioner, said government facilities in Nagpur were inadequate to handle Saibaba’s case. Escalating medical cost, up to Rs 1 lakh, which the family had incurred was worrisome, she had said.