Former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba, who is currently serving a life term in a Nagpur prison, has tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday, The Indian Express reported.
The academic was arrested in May 2014 after the police in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, 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.
Jail Superintendent Anup Kumre told the newspaper that Saibaba developed symptoms like cold, cough and fever, following which he was tested. “His report came on Friday and he was found to be corona positive,” Kumre said.
The former professor was shifted to the Government Medical College and Hospital for a check-up. “Once back in jail, we will treat him here in the prison itself like we have treated other inmates,” Kumre said.
Asked if Saibaba will be kept in isolation, the superintendent said he was already lodged in a separate Anda cell. “He will be treated in his cell only by the jail doctor,’ the police official added. Kumre said that there are currently 10 inmates, who are undergoing treatment for Covid-19 in prison.
On Thursday, gangster Arun Gawli, who is also lodged in Nagpur prison, too, had tested positive for Covid-19, reported The Indian Express. Gawli has been granted parole several times, including for his son’s and daughter’s marriage and to attend his mother’s funeral.
The government, however, refused to grant Saibaba parole to attend his mother’s funeral. In December, his lawyer had claimed that authorities at the Nagpur Central Jail refused to accept certain essential items that he brought for his client. The items included woolen caps and stationary.
In July, disability rights organisation National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled sought the National Human Rights Commission’s help to move Saibaba to a medical facility. The former professor had filed a bail plea before the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court citing his deteriorating health, especially given the coronavirus pandemic.