“Resist the McCarthy-ian tactics of branding and false framing of intellectuals, students and democratic rights activists!”

Statement by the Democratic Student Union, Delhi — June 3, 2014
DSU: “Condemn the abduction and arrest of Dr. G.N. Saibaba by the notorious Maharasthra Police!”

“In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act” George Orwell

 It is precisely for this ‘crime’ of speaking the truth in the face of the lies and deceit that seek to hide the untold injustice and oppression perpetuated by the Indian state, that Dr. GN Saibaba has been arrested. Dr. GN Saibaba, a faculty member in DU and a widely known political activist, was clandestinely abducted on 9th May by plain-clothed policemen of the Maharashtra police just steps away from his residence as he was on his way back from examination duty. Saibaba, who suffers from 90% disability and is wheelchair bound, was blindfolded and pushed into a vehicle that swiftly took him to the airport from whence he was flown to Nagpur. The surreptitious manner in which a public figure like him was literally abducted by the police itself testifies that they were wary of the fact that they do not have any substantive evidence to back their hoax of “nabbing” him for alleged “Maoist links”. It has been obvious for quite a while now that the Indian state has been desperate to brand him and frame him under certain cooked up charges. The sole purpose being, to gag a voice of dissent that dares to speak the truth despite repeated threats and intimidations.

A large number of activists, intellectuals, students and teachers turned up in front of Maharasthra Bhawan on 10th May to protest against the dastardly abduction and arrest of Dr. GN Saibaba

Continue reading

UK: Human Rights Activists and Lawyers Protest Political Arrest of GN Saibaba in India

[The following letter from British human rights activists and lawyers is an important internationalist act in solidarity with political prisoners in India, and particularly Professor GN Saibaba.  And it is doubly important for coming from the UK, where the repressive system of colonial laws in India was created, and continues under the purportedly “independent” and “democratic” regime in India today.  In 2012, the Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) in India wrote, “…the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) (1967) …. was copied from the Armed Forces Special Powers Ordinance brought by the British in 1942. Today the same law has been revamped with more teeth and implemented. Since the 1950s till date every draconian law that received the gravest wrath of the masses of the people was then rehashed into another law with yet stringent clauses. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that the present UAPA is in a way a clever rehashing of the old MISA, NSA, TADA, POTA etc. rolled into one made more stringent with the worst kind of clauses to stifle all forms of dissent.” — Frontlines ed.]

June 20, 2014
Letter to the Chief Justice : Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC)
http://www.campacc.org.uk

Your Honour,
We the undersigned would like to express our concern over the manner in which the government is increasingly resorting to the indiscriminate use of custody. In particular, the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 2008 (UAPA) is being abused indiscriminately to harass, intimidate and dissenting voices. This is part of the escalating effort to impede free speech and even thought, contrary to the Constitution of India as well as International principles of Human Rights. Such actions become pernicious in the context of the wide-ranging powers and impunity that have been available to the police and paramilitary forces under this Act. This is illustrated by the fact that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has reportedly issued instructions that persons and organizations who raise issues of human rights violations in Maoist areas must be targeted and arrested.
The recent abduction of Dr. G. N. Saibaba was particularly shocking. Dr. G N Saibaba, Asst. Professor with the Department of English, Ram Lal Anand College, Delhi University, was arrested by the Maharashtra Police on 9 May 2014 for his alleged links with Naxal leaders. He has been an active member of the Delhi University community, a very popular and respected teacher, and an important voice on democratic norms within and outside the university. He has been a vocal and important critic of the Indian state’s policies with regard to its paramilitary action in Central and Eastern tribal areas, commonly known as Operation Green Hunt. Along with other intellectuals, he has drawn attention to the blatant human rights violations of the Adivasi peoples of these regions. In particular, he has pointed out the enormous financial stakes in claiming the region for private industrial and commercial development at several national and international forums. Along with other intellectuals, he has criticized such models of “development” and their usefulness for the local populace in any participatory democracy. His sustained critique has earned him the ire of the powers that be. For some time now, they have been looking for a way to silence this very significant voice.
Dr. Saibaba is wheelchair bound, suffers from 90% disability and post-polio residual paralysis of both lower limbs. He poses no flight risk whatsoever. He is also a heart patient with blood pressure issues. Furthermore, he suffers from chronic and intense back pain as a result of the disability and being wheelchair bound. He has always cooperated fully with the investigation and did not need to be arrested. The National Human Rights Commission has already issued notice to the Maharashtra and Delhi police forces for violation of Dr. Saibaba’s rights in the course of the earlier investigation. Continue reading

India Continues State Suppression of Democratic Activists — Denies Bail and Medicine to disabled Professor Saibaba

Delhi University Community Against Police Repression

Press Release on the continued imprisonment of G.N. Saibaba, June 13, 2014

Dr G N Saibaba, who was recently abducted from Delhi by the Maharashtra police and charged under the UA(P)A, has just been denied bail by the Gadchiroli Sessions court.

Despite strong legal grounds for releasing an “infirm” person on bail, under Section 437 of the CrPC despite clear and irrefutable evidence that he is 90% disabled and ill, and that, precisely because of his infirmity, he cannot jump bail, the court has decided he needs to remain arrested and in custody.

The full order is not yet available.

Today Dr Saibaba has sent a letter from jail stating that he is suffering from “excruciating pains in the joints, legs and vertebra”, that these are “ignored”, and that “no medicine is provided or tests are conducted”.

Despite suffering cardiac problems and high blood pressure, “irrelevant medicines are given, like pain killers…which are no use…. BP control medicines…are not given”. When he is medicated it is “without care for required and regular doses”. He says that the “unbearable conditions in jail will make him collapse soon”, that he is “dragging on with sheer will power” but that it is “not possible to drag on in the present condition for long.” Continue reading

On the Bihar (India) State Police Arrest of RDF Leader Rajkishore

Rise!                             Resist!                      Liberate!

Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) – Press Statement, 5 November 2013

Condemn the arbitrary arrest of Revolutionary Democratic Front’s (RDF) All India General Secretary Rajkishore by the Bihar State Police!

Release Rajkishore immediately and unconditionally!

On the 1st of November at 8 pm, RDF’s General Secretary, Rajkishore, was arrested by the Bihar State police at his home in the village of Bakhari in East Champaran now called Motihari District, forced to sign on blank papers, and whisked away to the Madhuban Bazaar Police Station in Motihari town. Around 150 to 200 armed police personnel surrounded the village of Bakhari, barged into Rajkishore’s house and interrogated him and his family. Rajkishore is seventy one years of age and is ailing from serious medical problems. He suffered a recent injury to his ears and fracture in both sides of his lower jaw when turned unconscious and fell on the flower. He has been undergoing treatment at the AIIMS in Delhi, is taking heavy medication and is on a liquid diet, and had been advised by his doctors to remain at home for the remainder of his recovery.

Two days after reaching home he was picked up by the state police forces and charged in a case numbered 88 dated to 2005 that concerned an incident in Madhuban Bazaar allegedly involving the CPI (Maoist). The charge includes Indian Penal Code (IPC) 396 ‘dacoity with murder’ and Criminal Law (Amendment) Act Section 17. He has been remanded to judicial custody on case number 88/2005 based on a ‘confessional’ statement made in 2006 by one of those arrested in the Madhuban case. The arrest warrant on Rajkishore has been pending since 2006. He had visited his village a number of times in all these years but the arrest warrant was never invoked in the past. Continue reading

UK: Indian Workers and Rights Activists Condemn Attack on Prof. Saibaba

Condemn Indian State’s Heinous Raid on Activist and Delhi University Prof. G N Saibaba’s Residence

On September 12, in a joint operation in India, a 50 member squad of police personnel – comprising of members of National Investigation Agency (NIA), Delhi police, Special Cell of the Delhi Police and Maharashtra police – barged into the Delhi University staff quarter of Prof. G. N. Saibaba, a noted civil rights activist and professor of English at Ramlal Anand College, University of Delhi.

Professor of literature GN Saibaba

Professor of English GN Saibaba

The wheel-chair bound professor is a Joint Secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) and the convener of several forums against ‘Operation Greenhunt’ and the persecution of millions of adivasis and tribal population of Central and Eastern India. He teaches English at Delhi University.

During the raid, his house was ransacked by the police on the false pretext of attempting to recover “stolen property”. Saibaba, his wife and daughter were subjected to violent threats and criminal intimidation by the raiding team. They were detained for nearly four hours and were denied access to their lawyer. Their mobile phones were confiscated and his right to contact the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) was completely disregarded. Prof Saibaba’s laptop, hard disks that contain his PhD work and university teaching material, his and his family member’s mobile phones, many valuable books, copies of RDF publications and a DVD of a Hindi version of the Sanjay Kak film, Red Ant Dreamwere taken away.  Continue reading

India: Death Squad kills RDF Vice-President

Condemn Strongly the Ghastly Murder of Ganti Prasadam, the Vice President of RDF by State-Sponsored Vigilante Gangs!

COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

185/3, FOURTH FLOOR, ZAKIR NAGAR, NEW DELHI-110025

05/07/2013

Constitute Immediately a Judicial Inquiry into the Killing of Ganti Prasadam by Vigilante Goons!

Ganti Prasadam, the All India Vice-President of Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) as well as the Executive Member of the Committee for the Relatives and Friends of Martyrs, succumbed to the brutal and fatal attack on 5 July 2013 on him by unidentified gunmen in Nellore town. He was fatally wounded on his his neck with hunting sickles and later shot at with a pistol on the 4th afternoon. Comrade Ganti Prasadam was at Nellore to attend a public meeting of the Martyrs’ Committee held every year to remember the martyrs of Nellore. He bacame the target of the waiting goons when after the meeting, along with three of his associates of the committee he was on to visit one of the ailing relatives of a martyr at a local hospital.  Ganti Prasadam was operated on after receiving bullet injuries and the doctors were trying in vain to remove the third bullet which was dangerously close to his spinal cord. Comrade Ganti Prasadam this time could not sustain his arduous struggle to keep up his breath.

Given the notorious anti-people track-record of the intelligence agencies in Andhra Pradesh which have resorted to the worst kinds of atrocities on the struggling oppressed people of the region, be it naxalites, adivasis, dalits or Muslims, this murderous operation is reminiscent to the dastardly assassination of people’s political, social and civil rights activists in the past 40 years. Dr. Ramanadham, Purushottam, Jappa Laxmana Reddy, Prabhakar Reddy, Kanakachari, Azam Ali, Belli Lalita are a few examples of dedicated people’s leaders and civil rights activists targetted by the state in Andhra Pradesh in the past. Continue reading

RDF: “On the Attack on Ganti Prasadam”

Rise!                   Resist!                Liberate!

REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRATIC FRONT (RDF)  —  PRESS RELEASE  –  4 July 2013

Comrade Ganti Prasadam, the All India Vice-President of Revolutionary Democratic Front was brutally and fatally attacked by some unidentified gunmen in Nellore town today in the afternoon. The attackers first slew him on his neck with hunting sickles and then shot at him with a pistol three rounds. Comrade Ganti Prasadam is critically injured in the assassination attempt and at present he is being operated in a hospital in Nellore. According to the doctors who are working on him, his condition is extremely critical.

Comrade Prasadam has been also serving on the Committee for the Relatives and Friends of Martyrs as an Executive Member. He arrived at Nellore today to attend a public meeting of the Martyrs’ Committee, which is being held every year on 4 July remembering the Martyrs of Nellore. After the meeting, accompanied by three other members of the Committee he went to visit a family member of a martyr, who was hospitalised in a local Government Hospital. An assassination team of three were in waiting to swoop on him when he came out of the Hospital. In flash of a second they attacked Comrade Ganti Prasadam, before the other comrades realised of what was happening. When they tried to catch hold of murderous gang, they ran away leaving the swords behind.

Two bullets have been removed from his body so far in hours-long operation. The doctors have been maintaining that they cannot give any assurance of his safety till they could remove the third bullet, which has entered in a critical position near spinal card.

RDF believes that the assassination attempt on our Vice-President is designed and carried out by none other than the state intelligence agencies in charge of anti-Maoist operations in Andhra Pradesh. The state has clearly involved in the murderous attack, as Comrade Prasadam could not be cowed down by a huge number of cases fabricated on him apart from incarcerating him in prisons from time to time. The state government banned our organisation soon after the first Conference of RDF in Hyderabad in April 2011, in which Comrade Prasadam was elected as all India Vice-President. Continue reading