Jailed Delhi University professor GN Saibaba’s life is in danger as he gets little medical care in prison, his wife Vasantha Kumari said on Wednesday, PTI reported.
Saibaba is 90% disabled and suffers from 19 ailments, but authorities do not pay any attention to his health, Kumari said at the Press Club of India in Delhi. “The state wants to end his life in jail,” she alleged, according to The Indian Express.
The wheelchair-bound academic was arrested in May 2014, after the Gadchiroli Police claimed he had links with Maoists. He was sentenced to life in prison in March 2017 and has been in the Nagpur Central Jail since.
On Wednesday, Kumari demanded that Saibaba be shifted to a jail in Hyderabad, where his family lives, so he can be treated at good government hospitals. “He goes for many days without any medicine, and three to four times, he lost unconsciousness and bled from the ears and nose,” Kumari said in New Delhi. “There is no attention being paid to his health, the doctors don’t visit.”
Saibaba’s wife also alleged that prison authorities censored his letters and denied him the sweaters and other things she sends him. Kumari said that in a letter Saibaba sent her in December 2017, he wrote he would not live for long. “I am on a month’s lease of life,” she said he wrote to her. “Justice or death — which will come first?”
Former Delhi University Teachers’ Association President Nandita Narain also said there were feeble chances of Saibaba surviving in the current conditions. “It looks like the authorities have planned to let him die a slow death. This is just murder.” she said, according to PTI.
The case against Saibaba
The case began in 2013, with a police raid at Saibaba’s Delhi University quarters. The police alleged he was “an urban contact” for the Maoists and that he was named by Hem Mishra, then a Jawaharlal Nehru University student who was arrested in Gadchiroli.
He was first arrested in May 2014. In late June 2015, the Bombay High Court granted him bail on medical grounds, and he was released in July 2015. He went back to jail in December and was released again in April 2016, after the Supreme Court granted him bail.
Saibaba had extensively campaigned against the Salwa Judum militia and the human rights violations that accompanied Operation Green Hunt against Maoists launched under the United Progressive Alliance government.