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Abduction and arrest of DU Professor G.N. Saibaba : Statements, Petitions, Reports

June 13, 2014

Press Release on the continued imprisonment of G.N. Saibaba

by Delhi University Community Against Police Repression

Dr , 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.”

He has also written that “two or three inmates have to hold me to go to toilet at present”, because the western-style toilet (which is the only one he can use with any degree of comfort) has still not been made available, despite being promised this by the Jail Superintendent. He is finding it “impossible to survive”.

Under these circumstances, the urgency to get Dr Saibaba out has increased manifold. A Committee for the Defence and Release of Dr G N Saibaba has been constituted to expedite this, and to ensure that he is released with his innocence fully proven. The names of the Committee members will be released shortly.

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Petitioning Chief Justice of India :
Release Dr.Saibaba On Bail And Order A Judicial Investigation

[To sign the petition, please go here.]

To:
Chief Justice of India
The Chief Justice of India,
Supreme Court,
Tilak Marg,
New Delhi – 110 001

Subject: Arrest and Detention of Delhi University’s Prof. G N Saibaba

Your Honour,

We, the undersigned, would like to express our disquiet and concern over the manner in which the government is increasingly resorting to the unchecked and indiscriminate use of custody. In fact indiscriminate arrest and dentention are fast becoming the norm, begging the crucial question: when is arrest to be effected and on whom?

In particular, the draconian Unlawfal Activities (Prevention) Act (2008) (UAPA) is being flagrantly misused and abused indiscriminately to harass, intimidate and dissenting voices.

There is an increasing and evident tendency to overcriminalise individuals, events and actions if the government disapproves of them. This is part of the escalating effort to impede free speech and even thought, in spirit and in letter, 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.

In the recent abduction of Dr. G. N. Saibaba, the misuse of UAPA, the powers to arrest and detain and the disregard for due and legal process were 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 Friday, 9 May 2014, for his alleged links with Naxal leaders. The manner of the “arrest” was deplorable. He was appointed Head Examiner by the University for several papers of the University examinations, and is the Teacher-in-Charge of his department at his college. 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.

The raid, conducted by over 70 police personnel from the Gadchiroli and Delhi Police, was based on the fabricated charge that he was keeping unspecified stolen property in his house. Though the police ransacked his house, they found no stolen property.

Instead, they seized various materials from Dr. Saibaba’s house, such as documents, his laptop, several pen-drives and computer hard-disks. None of these items was sealed despite the vehement of his colleagues who had assembled outside the barred gate of his house. Rather than getting the siezure list checked and signed by one of Saibaba’s University colleagues who were standing there, the police brought in two terrified and illiterate local

Dr. G N Saibaba is a scholar and public intellectual of It is in this context that Dr. Saibaba’s house was raided barbers to sign the list. The PUCL in its report on the matter that was cognised by the NHRC, called the Police raid a “fishing expedition”. The police subsequently subjected both him and his family to relentless mental harassment and tension. For several months now, he and his family have been living with the threat of his being picked up at any time, because the entire process seems to have been part of an exercise in framing Dr. Saibaba by planting the so-called “incriminating material” in his laptop, etc.

Following this raid, in January 2014, a team of police officers led by Suhas Bawache, interrogated Saibaba at his house for over 5 hours.When he was eventually arrested, it was more in the nature of an abduction rather than an arrest. We are told by his driver that his car was forced to the side of the road by a Santro car carrying 5-6 plainclothes policemen. The plainclothesmen blindfolded, roughed up and forced his driver into the Santro, and took Dr. Saibaba away in his own car. The driver and the car were illegally detained at the Civil Lines Police Thana for several hours. His wife and daughter had no knowledge of Saibaba’s whereabouts, and were informed only much later that Saibaba had been picked up. She was not shown any arrest warrant, charge-sheet or any other document that could authorize or justify the arrest. The bafflingly clandestine process was in blatant violation of the due process of law, and should be a matter of concern for every Indian citizen.

Several questions arise: why was Saibaba arrested less that 300 metres from his home? Why was he not allowed to collect his medicines and clothes? Why was his wife informed about this arrest only two hours later? Why was the driver blindfolded?

We would also like to draw your attention here to the fact that 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 – and certainly not in this manner. We would also like to point out here that 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.

Metropolitan Magistrate at Aheri on 10/5/2014, and upon the verification of the fact that Saibaba suffers from 90% disability, the civil court could have exercised its discretion under the Provision of Section 437 of the CrPC which clearly states that the court can direct a person to “be released on bail if such person is under the age of sixteen years or is a woman or is sick or infirm”, instead of remanding him to further custody. This is further fortified by the fact that the police itself sought his transfer from Gadchiroli and Aheri to Nagpur on the grounds that jail facilities there were utterly inadequate for the special and necessary medical needs of a patient with Saibaba’s medical complications. It has now come to light that Saibaba is being kept in a highly unsanitary, solitary cell, in darkness and with inadequate facilities. The denial of medication has resulted in constant pain and deterioration of health. Moreover, he is experiencing great difficulty, pain and indignity while using the toilet since it is impossible for him to use the Indian style commode that is provided in his cell. Given his fragile medical condition, we are particularly concerned for Dr. Saibaba’s well-being, and are apprehensive that, given his fragile medical condition, he may collapse physically in police custody.

We also understand from news reports that the Chattisgarh Police has expressed a wish to interrogate him. We suspect that several such requests will come from the police of various states and remote corners that he has not even visited and where legal aid is very difficult to find, only to intensify the torture on him. The present Master Case will be vastly multiplied to tie up the life and resources of the family in litigation. Consequently, the family will become increasingly financially vulnerable.

Your Honour, we are deeply concerned about the methods being adopted now by the police to silence voices of dissent and criticism. One of the causes of the gross abuse of legal processes is because of the protection afforded by governments and the judiciary. There are thousands of political prisoners languishing. Moreover, on production before the learned in jails today, and the number is only likely to go up. There is a dire need for a more compassionate criminal justice system that will encourage the participation of the people in proving their innocence. There is also an urgent need to level the playing field, which is at the moment hopelessly prejudiced against the individual. Such an intervention can come only from a Superior Court. We look to you for justice, and for the judicial protection of all such critical voices. We further appeal to you to intervene in the increasing criminalisation of voices of dissent and critique.

On the matter of Saibaba in particular, given that he clearly poses no flight risk whatsoever, we would very much appreciate your taking suo moto cognizance of the facts of the case, initiating a judicial investigation of the matter and issuing an interim order releasing him from judicial custody, and back to his family immediately.

Sincerely,

Sincerely,
[Your name]

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Report of protest in New York

2014MAY14

NEW YORK – Supporters of the campaign to free Dr. Saibaba, including activists involved with IGNITE-MLM and MCG, conducted street agitation on Wednesday, May 14 to bring attention to the Indian state’s abduction of the professor. More than 500 copies of the “Free Dr. Saibaba, Now!” leaflet of The International Campaign for the Freedom of All Political Prisoners were distributed. Many people, attracted by the banner below, stopped to talk and learn more about Dr. Saibaba, political prisoners, Operation Green Hunt, and the people’s struggles in India.

The text of the leaflet:

The International Campaign for the Freedom of All Political Prisoners – Steering committee

FREE DR. SAIBABA, NOW!

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.

The voices of intellectuals, progressive and activist across India opposing this genocidal war on people not only reflects the tremendous mass resistance of the Tribal people such as that in Singur, Nandigram and the Lalgarh peoples’ resistance, it also has raised waves of indignation from across the world exposing the true anti-people nature of the Indian state.

The Indian ruling classes engulfed in deep economic and political crisis have deploying the Indian state have adopted increasingly more brutal and draconian measure to eliminate their opponents intensifying repression across the board. It follows that the state and its security forces are directly responsible for war and aggression, wholesale , inhumane treatment in captivity, torture, use of illegal chemicals in extraction of confessions, assassinations and extrajudicial killings.

During the past 5 years alone, the swelling numbers of political prisoners in India and those in captivity, is clear indication of the intensifying oppression and the desperation of the ruling classes in India unable to contain the rising tide of resistance and the struggle of the oppressed people across the country.

Today, tens of thousands including communists, other revolutionaries and progressive people, intellectuals, democratic rights activists, national and religious minorities, and people from all professions, continue to be incarcerated in prisons and interrogation centres across India.

The abduction of Professor GN Saibaba, comes a few days after a similar abduction of Jeevan Chandra, the President of RDF in Uttarakhand, that was carried out by security forces on May 5, for having ‘connections with the Maoists’ and calling for the boycott of the upcoming elections – a typical farce to decide who will represent the fascist state in dealing with the endemic economic, political and social crisis and rising tide of the mass resistance.

According to the CRPP (a convenor of “The International Campaign for the Freedom of All Political Prisoners): “Dr. Saibaba could see this unfolding method in madness of the state and had called for the rallying of all democratic and freedom loving people of the subcontinent resolutely to defeat this war on the people. Every voice that demands justice for Saibaba and his unconditional release will be a step to further strengthen those convictions of ours to stand for what is good for the vast sections of the masses of the people and their struggle to keep alive those dreams for a better world free from all forms of exploitation.”

We join our colleagues in the Indian subcontinent, and express our solidarity in struggle for the release of all political prisoners and condemn the reactionary fascist state in India for transforming the whole country into a prison for its oppressed people and national and religious minorities.

On behalf the steering committee of the International Campaign for the Freedom of All Political Prisoners (ICFAPP) we call on all progressive and democratic minded forces across the world to join protests against the abduction of Dr GN Saibaba and demand the his immediate and unconditional release.

Let us join together to resist and struggle for the freedom of all political prisoners everywhere!

LONG LIVE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY!
FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!

WE DEMAND THE IMMEDIATE AND UNCONDITIONAL
RELEASE PROF. GN SAIBABA NOW!

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Statement from Indian Workers Association (Great Britain)

As the elections to the Parliament and Assemblies of the world’ largest ‘Democracy’ have just come to an end on one side, plainclothes police men from the Indian state of Maharashtra have clandestinely abducted prof. G. N. Saibaba of Delhi University around 1.00 pm on Friday, when he was retuning in his car from the university. Dr. G.N. Saibaba, who suffers from 90% disability and is wheelchair bound, was blindfolded and pushed into a vehicle. He along with his car driver was taken to a police station from where he was loaded onto a Mumbai bound flight. The abductors did not follow the procedures like preparing a memo of arrest at the place of arrest, informing his family as laid down in the laws of the country while ’arresting’ him. Later he was charged with the notorious and draconian black law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. This illegal unconstitutional detention of Dr Saibaba is a challenge for all those who stand for democratic rights and rights of the downtrodden sections of the society.

Dr. Saibaba is an eminent civil rights activist who stood for the rights of people, for liberty and against corporate aggression. He took leading part in organising protests in solidarity with Palestinian and Iraqi resistance movements and the people’s struggles for self-determination in Kashmir and the North-Eastern states of India. He is in the forefront in people’s movements against ‘Operation Green Hunt’ and in the movement for the release of all political prisoners. The Indian State’s war codenamed ‘Green Hunt’ is a war launched on the poorest of the poor people of central and eastern India, who are struggling to safeguard the land, forest and county’s natural resources from corporate grab.

Indian Workers Association, Great Britain appeals to all democratically thinking people, intellectuals, students and workers of Great Britain and around the world to condemn this fascist act of Indian Police and to demand his immediate and unconditional release. We appeal to all to stand by those who are already protesting against Dr Saibaba’s illegal arrest.

Hours after the arrest, activists and professors from Delhi University led by author Arundhati Roy held a press conference at his house and stated that the arrest was “arbitrary and illegal” and an attempt to stifle voice of dissent. They demanded that he be released unconditionally on health and professional grounds.

Arundhati Roy, who is furious about his arrest said, “This is a brazen flouting of the constitutional rights of a citizen. Earlier, it was just confined to poor villages where no one would question the rapes and abductions, but now it has reached cities too”. She added that laws like Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act were made to cater only to the interests of the political bosses of the country and Saibaba was a victim since he had questioned their activities.

“They use the paramilitary against the poor men when they start questioning the government’s move to acquire forest land, and use police against urban intellectuals. There are more than 200 MoUs signed secretly between the government and the corporate bodies and when people question them, the government tags them as part of a banned organisation,” Roy said.

Kavita Krishnan, a prominent women’s rights activist and leader of Progressive Women’s’ Association termed the arrest as harassment and punishment without any ground.

Nandita Narain, president of Delhi University Teachers’ Association said “he had co-operated wholly with the police when they had interrogated him twice in the past, his medical condition is bad, and there is no way that he can be a flight risk that they have to remove him from Delhi in this clandestine manner,”.

In the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, members of Civil Liberties Committee, the Republican Party of India, Progressive Democratic Women, Committee for Release of Political Prisoners, Telangana people’s Front and Committee of Friends and Families of Martyrs staged a protest demonstration near Ambedkar statue on the tank bund.

In London, a protest demonstration condemning the illegal abduction and arrest of Prof Saibaba and demanding his unconditional release will take place in front of the Indian High Commission, Holborn on the Wednesday 14th of May at 1pm. IWA Great Britain gives appeals to all intellectuals, students, workers and democrats to participate in the protest in a big number and make it a huge success.

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Statement from Delhi Students Union

“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.

Saibaba has been a tireless voice that has meticulously tore down the curtain of silence that the Indian state uses to hide the most gory reality of a war it has waged against the most oppressed adivasi population in the name of Operation Green Hunt. As the convenor of the Forum against War on People, Saibaba has been consistent in breaking down the high-sounding myth of ‘Development’ with which the state seeks to cover up a bloody war that it has waged at the behest of the corporate sharks to facilitate an unbridled loot of resources at the cost of death, destruction and displacement for the adivasis. Breaking the deathly consensus of all possible shades of parliamentary forces to this so called ‘development’ model, his was one of those voices that galvanized a large section of democratic opinion against Green Hunt. Large enough to cause panic and fluster the powers that be. As the Joint Secretary of Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), Saibaba has been helping to forge solidarities amongst – the Dalits, adivasis, Muslims, oppressed nationalities, peasant, workers, and so on – for the goal of forging a revolutionary unity of the oppressed. As a faculty in DU, Saibaba has been at the forefront of struggles for social justice, for reservation & against privatization – semester system or FYUP – galvanizing teachers & students for democratization of education.

The most evolved mechanism of the Indian state to contain ‘crimes’ such as the above and to witch hunt countless such democratic right activists is to brand and frame them either as “Maoist” or as “Terrorist”. Voices that dare to speak the truth thereby can easily be projected as “threats to national security” and hence “seditious”. By such means Muslims who burn the US flag protesting against imperialist aggression are nabbed as “terrorists”; Kabir Kala Manch activists who sing about breaking the fetters of Brahmanism are nabbed as “anti-nationals”; and those opposing Operation Green Hunt are nabbed as “Maoists”. With masterful precision, improved upon through repeated rendition, the state apparatus – its police, judiciary, media – complement each other all along this process of branding, threatening, framing, abducting, incarcerating and at other times encountering. We have seen the chronicle being repeated over and over again in the cases of Comrade Hem, Prashant Rahi, Shahid Azmi, Binayak Sen or countless other nameless faceless people’s activists across the country.

The chronicle of the abduction and arrest had also long been foretold. The corporate media had for quite a while been faithfully reproducing the police claims of Dr. Saibaba having “Maoist links” thereby branding him time and again as also threatening to arrest him. Even at the university level he was systematically harassed with threats of eviction from his residence on flimsy grounds. After arrest of Comrade Hem (a known cultural activist and member of DSU) and Prashant Rahi (prominent journalist) on baseless charges, a concerted attempt began to frame Dr. Saibaba. There was a dastardly raid at his residence within the university premises in September 2013 by a joint team of 60 policemen with a ridiculous warrant of “search for stolen property”. Despite several representations to the Delhi University, the Chancellor, as well as the NHRC, which incidentally had taken note of the gross violations on Dr. GN Saibaba during the illegal raid of his house such harassments continued unabated. In January 2014, the Maharashtra police came with the pretext of a so called “interrogation” and in the absence of any evidence resorted to blatant threats and intimidations. The next step thereby was to surreptitiously abduct him and frame him under absurd charges. He was produced yesterday in the Aheri court at Gadchirolli, Maharashtra, and has been given judicial custody.

It goes without saying that Dr Saibaba who had been in the midst of just struggles outside the prison bars will continue to struggle even from behind the bars. But the manner in which he has been taken away in broad daylight is a challenge for all the people who stand for democratic rights. It is the responsibility of all democratic and progressive sections to build a united struggle to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Dr. Saibaba, Comrade Hem, Prashant Rahi and all other political prisoners. While the coming years, with or without Modi, are days when fascism is going to further tighten its grip in this country marking the beginning of what many may call a dark chapter of history; but as GN Saibaba himself said a few days back while addressing a meeting, “it is such united struggles of the most oppressed and the progressive sections that can and will turn the coming years into the brightest chapter of history.”

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COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

Date: 10/05/2014

But, because I tried to extend your liberties
Mine were curtailed.
Because I tried to rear the temple of freedom
For you all I was thrown into the cell of a felon’s jail…
Because I tried to give voice to truth,
I was condemned to silence…
You may say this is not a public question.
But it is!

CONDEMN AND EXPOSE THE FRAME UP OF DELHI UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR GN SAIBABA!
RELEASE PROF. GN SAIBABA UNCONDITIONALLY AND IMMEDIATELY!

At the heart of Delhi, when a Delhi University professor is clandestinely taken away by the police from another state (Maharashtra) anyone who upholds norms and procedures, rule of law and above all, those very fundamentals that define a democratic polity should tremble in indignation. What happened to Dr. GN Saibaba on the 9 May 2014 when plainclothed personnel from Maharashtra abducted him is symptomatic of the larger acts of impunity with which the police and paramilitary of the subcontinent have been conducting themselves, with the sole difference that this is happening in a highly ‘securtized’ zone like the Delhi University campus which looks only through the CCTV; where everyone is watched paternally by a security set up of the Delhi Police allegedly to maintain order if not the law. It is beyond the level of the absurd to note that the police had once barged into his house in September 2013 with a warrant that was purportedly to seek ‘stolen property’ from his premises and then take away his belongings (laptop, hard discs etc) and once again visit him, in the first week of January 2014, this time with a notice for questioning and now finally culminate in this abduction by men in plainclothes from the road in Delhi University premises on 9 May 2014, when it is clear that he was always available for the police for whatever kind of queries that they had.

And it’s astounding to see that the continuing harassment of Dr. GN Saibaba and his family went unabated despite several representations to the Delhi University, the Chancellor, as well as the NHRC, which incidentally had taken note of the gross violations on Dr. GN Saibaba during the illegal raid of his house.

Dr. Saibaba, who suffers from 90% disability and is wheelchair bound, was blindfolded and pushed into a vehicle. Yet why did the police want to surreptitiously blindfold Dr. GN Saibaba and take him to unknown destination when the police are on record as published in the media that they have been camping in Delhi for almost a week? This is an admission of fear of public wrath as well as the self doubt on the side of the police as they have little evidence to show off any of the charges that they are purportedly putting on him. The action of the police is self explanatory as they would want to frame him up on trumped charges of alleged Maoist links based on ‘confessions’, as they claim, from Hem Mishra, a JNU student and former CRPP executive member as well as noted journalist and social activist Prashant Rahi who was independently working for the release of political prisoners. In fact arrests and incarceration of activists who are vocal against the policies of the state based on the so-called ‘confessions’ has been a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of an increasingly criminalizing and penalizing state the India is fast becoming.

After Dr. Saibaba 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 Maharashtra. For what case, under what charges and if there was a warrant, every aspect of the high handed action of the police was deliberately kept incommunicado. Later Dr. GN Saibaba managed to talk to his daughter from some other phone that he managed while being in the airport where he disclosed that he was being flown to Nagpur. Only close to 6 pm in the evening was his driver, Mr. Deepak was released. It was Deepak who narrated how he and Dr, Saibaba were blindfolded after a Santro car intercepted them on their before the School of Open Learning (SOL) while returning from Daulat Ram College after the examination duty. Deepak was kept throughout blind folded in the Civil Lines police station to be released later in the evening.

The manner in which Dr. GN Saibaba, a Delhi University professor has been taken away in broad daylight is a challenge for all the people who stand for democratic values and freedoms of the most downtrodden sections of the society. That Dr. GN Saibaba—who is also the Joint Secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) and one of the central conveners of the Forum Against War on People—has been quite outspoken against the murderous loot and plunder of people’s resources, their livelihoods under the garb of development as is espoused by all the corporate sponsored political parties and business houses in India and abroad had also struck chord with the democratic sections of the people had certainly irked the powers that be in their wishful thinking to ‘win the hearts and minds’ of the people in favour of their policies that can only breed destruction, destitution and death. Yes winning the ‘hearts and minds’ is a euphemism for the crude and repressive coercion of the state to browbeat the opinionated middle class in favour of the government of the day that has pledged itself to the insatiable hunger for profit of the corporates. The mounting repression on workers in the factories in urban centres, the targeting of rights defenders as well as people’s activists such as the arbitrary arrests of activists and office bearers of the RDF are clear indications in this direction. Recently the President of RDF in Uttarakhand, Jeevan Chandra, was similarly picked up on 5th of May in Uttarakhand for having ‘connections with the Maoists’ and calling for the boycott of the elections. Dr. Saibaba could see this unfolding method in madness of the state and had called for the rallying of all democratic and freedom loving people of the subcontinent resolutely to defeat this war on the people. Every voice that demands justice for Saibaba and his unconditional release will be a step to further strengthen those convictions of ours to stand for what is good for the vast sections of the masses of the people and their struggle to keep alive those dreams for a better world free from all forms of exploitation.

When this is being written CRPP received news from the lawyers in Aheri court in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra that Dr. Saibaba has been produced before the magistrate and was send to judicial custody.

We strongly demand that he be released unconditionally without delay. We at the CRPP call upon all freedom loving and democratic sections of the people, intellectuals, students, workers, rights defenders and one and all to condemn in unison the abduction of Dr. Saibaba and expose the ongoing war of incarceration of thousands of people across the subcontinent.

In Solidarity,
SAR Geelani (President)
Amit Bhattacharyya (Secretary General)
Bojja Tharakam Vice (President)
N. Venuh (Vice President)
MN Ravunni (Vice President)
P. Koya Vice (President)
Rona Wilson (Secretary, Public Relations)

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Press Release from ASSOCIATION FOR PROTECTION OF DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS

Professor GN Saibaba, an eminent rights activist was abducted on 09/05/2014, by a posse of plainclothes men at about while he was returning home after performing examination duties at about 12-30. Dr. Saibaba suffers from 90% disability and is on a wheelchair. After abduction, the plainclothesmen blindfolded him and took him and his car driver was taken to the Civil Lines Police Station and from there Dr. Saibaba was loaded in a Mumbai bound flight. The abductors did not follow the procedures like preparing a memo of arrest at the place of arrest, informing his family as laid down in the laws of the country while ’arresting’ him.

Dr. Saibaba is an eminent activist for the rights of people, for liberty and against corporate aggression. He took leading part in organizing protests in solidarity with Palestinian and Iraqi resistance movements, Kashmiri and North-Eastern people’s struggles. He is in the forefront in people’s movements against Indian State’s war codenamed ‘Green Hunt’ on its people who are struggling to safeguard land, forest and county’s natural resources from corporate grab and in the movement for the release of all political prisoners.

Dr. Saibaba’s residence was earlier raided by the Maharastra Police on 12 September, 2013 and again on 7 January 2014 and he was interrogated for long hours amid protests from the students and faculty of the DU on the pretext of ‘getting information’ from an arrested alleged Maoist activist. Now, it is learnt he is booked under sections 13, 18, 20 and 39 of the draconian UAPA on the same pretext. This is yet another example of the misuse of the UAPA for which the Act is designed.

APDR strongly condemns the illegal and vengeful arrest of Dr. Saibaba and demands withdrawal of all charges against him and his immediate and unconditional release.
APDR calls on all rights activists, democratic individuals and organisations and the people to rise in protest against Dr. Saibaba’s arrest.

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A Letter to the CM of Maharashtra

 

Delhi – Abduction and arrest of G.N. Saibaba : Statements, Petitions, Reports

June 13, 2014

Press Release on the continued imprisonment of G.N. Saibaba

by Delhi University Community Against Police Repression

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.”

He has also written that “two or three inmates have to hold me to go to toilet at present”, because the western-style toilet (which is the only one he can use with any degree of comfort) has still not been made available, despite being promised this by the Jail Superintendent. He is finding it “impossible to survive”.

Under these circumstances, the urgency to get Dr Saibaba out has increased manifold. A Committee for the Defence and Release of Dr G N Saibaba has been constituted to expedite this, and to ensure that he is released with his innocence fully proven. The names of the Committee members will be released shortly.

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Petitioning Chief Justice of India :
Release Dr.Saibaba On Bail And Order A Judicial Investigation

[To sign the petition, please go here.]

To:
Chief Justice of India
The Chief Justice of India,
Supreme Court,
Tilak Marg,
New Delhi – 110 001

Subject: Arrest and Detention of Delhi University’s Prof. G N Saibaba

Your Honour,

We, the undersigned, would like to express our disquiet and concern over the manner in which the government is increasingly resorting to the unchecked and indiscriminate use of custody. In fact indiscriminate arrest and dentention are fast becoming the norm, begging the crucial question: when is arrest to be effected and on whom?

In particular, the draconian Unlawfal Activities (Prevention) Act (2008) (UAPA) is being flagrantly misused and abused indiscriminately to harass, intimidate and dissenting voices.

There is an increasing and evident tendency to overcriminalise individuals, events and actions if the government disapproves of them. This is part of the escalating effort to impede free speech and even thought, in spirit and in letter, 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.

In the recent abduction of Dr. G. N. Saibaba, the misuse of UAPA, the powers to arrest and detain and the disregard for due and legal process were 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 Friday, 9 May 2014, for his alleged links with Naxal leaders. The manner of the “arrest” was deplorable. He was appointed Head Examiner by the University for several papers of the University examinations, and is the Teacher-in-Charge of his department at his college. 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.

The raid, conducted by over 70 police personnel from the Gadchiroli and Delhi Police, was based on the fabricated charge that he was keeping unspecified stolen property in his house. Though the police ransacked his house, they found no stolen property.

Instead, they seized various materials from Dr. Saibaba’s house, such as documents, his laptop, several pen-drives and computer hard-disks. None of these items was sealed despite the vehement protests of his colleagues who had assembled outside the barred gate of his house. Rather than getting the siezure list checked and signed by one of Saibaba’s University colleagues who were standing there, the police brought in two terrified and illiterate local

Dr. G N Saibaba is a scholar and public intellectual of It is in this context that Dr. Saibaba’s house was raided barbers to sign the list. The PUCL in its report on the matter that was cognised by the NHRC, called the Police raid a “fishing expedition”. The police subsequently subjected both him and his family to relentless mental harassment and tension. For several months now, he and his family have been living with the threat of his being picked up at any time, because the entire process seems to have been part of an exercise in framing Dr. Saibaba by planting the so-called “incriminating material” in his laptop, etc.

Following this raid, in January 2014, a team of police officers led by Suhas Bawache, interrogated Saibaba at his house for over 5 hours.When he was eventually arrested, it was more in the nature of an abduction rather than an arrest. We are told by his driver that his car was forced to the side of the road by a Santro car carrying 5-6 plainclothes policemen. The plainclothesmen blindfolded, roughed up and forced his driver into the Santro, and took Dr. Saibaba away in his own car. The driver and the car were illegally detained at the Civil Lines Police Thana for several hours. His wife and daughter had no knowledge of Saibaba’s whereabouts, and were informed only much later that Saibaba had been picked up. She was not shown any arrest warrant, charge-sheet or any other document that could authorize or justify the arrest. The bafflingly clandestine process was in blatant violation of the due process of law, and should be a matter of concern for every Indian citizen.

Several questions arise: why was Saibaba arrested less that 300 metres from his home? Why was he not allowed to collect his medicines and clothes? Why was his wife informed about this arrest only two hours later? Why was the driver blindfolded?

We would also like to draw your attention here to the fact that 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 – and certainly not in this manner. We would also like to point out here that 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.

Metropolitan Magistrate at Aheri on 10/5/2014, and upon the verification of the fact that Saibaba suffers from 90% disability, the civil court could have exercised its discretion under the Provision of Section 437 of the CrPC which clearly states that the court can direct a person to “be released on bail if such person is under the age of sixteen years or is a woman or is sick or infirm”, instead of remanding him to further custody. This is further fortified by the fact that the police itself sought his transfer from Gadchiroli and Aheri to Nagpur on the grounds that jail facilities there were utterly inadequate for the special and necessary medical needs of a patient with Saibaba’s medical complications. It has now come to light that Saibaba is being kept in a highly unsanitary, solitary cell, in darkness and with inadequate facilities. The denial of medication has resulted in constant pain and deterioration of health. Moreover, he is experiencing great difficulty, pain and indignity while using the toilet since it is impossible for him to use the Indian style commode that is provided in his cell. Given his fragile medical condition, we are particularly concerned for Dr. Saibaba’s well-being, and are apprehensive that, given his fragile medical condition, he may collapse physically in police custody.

We also understand from news reports that the Chattisgarh Police has expressed a wish to interrogate him. We suspect that several such requests will come from the police of various states and remote corners that he has not even visited and where legal aid is very difficult to find, only to intensify the torture on him. The present Master Case will be vastly multiplied to tie up the life and resources of the family in litigation. Consequently, the family will become increasingly financially vulnerable.

Your Honour, we are deeply concerned about the methods being adopted now by the police to silence voices of dissent and criticism. One of the causes of the gross abuse of legal processes is because of the protection afforded by governments and the judiciary. There are thousands of political prisoners languishing. Moreover, on production before the learned in jails today, and the number is only likely to go up. There is a dire need for a more compassionate criminal justice system that will encourage the participation of the people in proving their innocence. There is also an urgent need to level the playing field, which is at the moment hopelessly prejudiced against the individual. Such an intervention can come only from a Superior Court. We look to you for justice, and for the judicial protection of all such critical voices. We further appeal to you to intervene in the increasing criminalisation of voices of dissent and critique.

On the matter of Saibaba in particular, given that he clearly poses no flight risk whatsoever, we would very much appreciate your taking suo moto cognizance of the facts of the case, initiating a judicial investigation of the matter and issuing an interim order releasing him from judicial custody, and back to his family immediately.

Sincerely,

Sincerely,
[Your name]

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Report of protest in New York

2014MAY14

NEW YORK – Supporters of the campaign to free Dr. Saibaba, including activists involved with IGNITE-MLM and MCG, conducted street agitation on Wednesday, May 14 to bring attention to the Indian state’s abduction of the professor. More than 500 copies of the “Free Dr. Saibaba, Now!” leaflet of The International Campaign for the Freedom of All Political Prisoners were distributed. Many people, attracted by the banner below, stopped to talk and learn more about Dr. Saibaba, political prisoners, Operation Green Hunt, and the people’s struggles in India.

The text of the leaflet:

The International Campaign for the Freedom of All Political Prisoners – Steering committee

FREE DR. SAIBABA, NOW!

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.

The voices of intellectuals, progressive and activist across India opposing this genocidal war on people not only reflects the tremendous mass resistance of the Tribal people such as that in Singur, Nandigram and the Lalgarh peoples’ resistance, it also has raised waves of indignation from across the world exposing the true anti-people nature of the Indian state.

The Indian ruling classes engulfed in deep economic and political crisis have deploying the Indian state have adopted increasingly more brutal and draconian measure to eliminate their opponents intensifying repression across the board. It follows that the state and its security forces are directly responsible for war and aggression, wholesale arrests, inhumane treatment in captivity, torture, use of illegal chemicals in extraction of confessions, assassinations and extrajudicial killings.

During the past 5 years alone, the swelling numbers of political prisoners in India and those in captivity, is clear indication of the intensifying oppression and the desperation of the ruling classes in India unable to contain the rising tide of resistance and the struggle of the oppressed people across the country.

Today, tens of thousands including communists, other revolutionaries and progressive people, intellectuals, democratic rights activists, national and religious minorities, and people from all professions, continue to be incarcerated in prisons and interrogation centres across India.

The abduction of Professor GN Saibaba, comes a few days after a similar abduction of Jeevan Chandra, the President of RDF in Uttarakhand, that was carried out by security forces on May 5, for having ‘connections with the Maoists’ and calling for the boycott of the upcoming elections – a typical farce to decide who will represent the fascist state in dealing with the endemic economic, political and social crisis and rising tide of the mass resistance.

According to the CRPP (a convenor of “The International Campaign for the Freedom of All Political Prisoners): “Dr. Saibaba could see this unfolding method in madness of the state and had called for the rallying of all democratic and freedom loving people of the subcontinent resolutely to defeat this war on the people. Every voice that demands justice for Saibaba and his unconditional release will be a step to further strengthen those convictions of ours to stand for what is good for the vast sections of the masses of the people and their struggle to keep alive those dreams for a better world free from all forms of exploitation.”

We join our colleagues in the Indian subcontinent, and express our solidarity in struggle for the release of all political prisoners and condemn the reactionary fascist state in India for transforming the whole country into a prison for its oppressed people and national and religious minorities.

On behalf the steering committee of the International Campaign for the Freedom of All Political Prisoners (ICFAPP) we call on all progressive and democratic minded forces across the world to join protests against the abduction of Dr GN Saibaba and demand the his immediate and unconditional release.

Let us join together to resist and struggle for the freedom of all political prisoners everywhere!

LONG LIVE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY!
FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!

WE DEMAND THE IMMEDIATE AND UNCONDITIONAL
RELEASE PROF. GN SAIBABA NOW!

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Statement from Indian Workers Association (Great Britain)

As the elections to the Parliament and Assemblies of the world’ largest ‘Democracy’ have just come to an end on one side, plainclothes police men from the Indian state of Maharashtra have clandestinely abducted prof. G. N. Saibaba of Delhi University around 1.00 pm on Friday, when he was retuning in his car from the university. Dr. G.N. Saibaba, who suffers from 90% disability and is wheelchair bound, was blindfolded and pushed into a vehicle. He along with his car driver was taken to a police station from where he was loaded onto a Mumbai bound flight. The abductors did not follow the procedures like preparing a memo of arrest at the place of arrest, informing his family as laid down in the laws of the country while ’arresting’ him. Later he was charged with the notorious and draconian black law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. This illegal unconstitutional detention of Dr Saibaba is a challenge for all those who stand for democratic rights and rights of the downtrodden sections of the society.

Dr. Saibaba is an eminent civil rights activist who stood for the rights of people, for liberty and against corporate aggression. He took leading part in organising protests in solidarity with Palestinian and Iraqi resistance movements and the people’s struggles for self-determination in Kashmir and the North-Eastern states of India. He is in the forefront in people’s movements against ‘Operation Green Hunt’ and in the movement for the release of all political prisoners. The Indian State’s war codenamed ‘Green Hunt’ is a war launched on the poorest of the poor people of central and eastern India, who are struggling to safeguard the land, forest and county’s natural resources from corporate grab.

Indian Workers Association, Great Britain appeals to all democratically thinking people, intellectuals, students and workers of Great Britain and around the world to condemn this fascist act of Indian Police and to demand his immediate and unconditional release. We appeal to all to stand by those who are already protesting against Dr Saibaba’s illegal arrest.

Hours after the arrest, activists and professors from Delhi University led by author Arundhati Roy held a press conference at his house and stated that the arrest was “arbitrary and illegal” and an attempt to stifle voice of dissent. They demanded that he be released unconditionally on health and professional grounds.

Arundhati Roy, who is furious about his arrest said, “This is a brazen flouting of the constitutional rights of a citizen. Earlier, it was just confined to poor villages where no one would question the rapes and abductions, but now it has reached cities too”. She added that laws like Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act were made to cater only to the interests of the political bosses of the country and Saibaba was a victim since he had questioned their activities.

“They use the paramilitary against the poor men when they start questioning the government’s move to acquire forest land, and use police against urban intellectuals. There are more than 200 MoUs signed secretly between the government and the corporate bodies and when people question them, the government tags them as part of a banned organisation,” Roy said.

Kavita Krishnan, a prominent women’s rights activist and leader of Progressive Women’s’ Association termed the arrest as harassment and punishment without any ground.

Nandita Narain, president of Delhi University Teachers’ Association said “he had co-operated wholly with the police when they had interrogated him twice in the past, his medical condition is bad, and there is no way that he can be a flight risk that they have to remove him from Delhi in this clandestine manner,”.

In the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, members of Civil Liberties Committee, the Republican Party of India, Progressive Democratic Women, Committee for Release of Political Prisoners, Telangana people’s Front and Committee of Friends and Families of Martyrs staged a protest demonstration near Ambedkar statue on the tank bund.

In London, a protest demonstration condemning the illegal abduction and arrest of Prof Saibaba and demanding his unconditional release will take place in front of the Indian High Commission, Holborn on the Wednesday 14th of May at 1pm. IWA Great Britain gives appeals to all intellectuals, students, workers and democrats to participate in the protest in a big number and make it a huge success.

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Statement from Delhi Students Union

“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.

Saibaba has been a tireless voice that has meticulously tore down the curtain of silence that the Indian state uses to hide the most gory reality of a war it has waged against the most oppressed adivasi population in the name of Operation Green Hunt. As the convenor of the Forum against War on People, Saibaba has been consistent in breaking down the high-sounding myth of ‘Development’ with which the state seeks to cover up a bloody war that it has waged at the behest of the corporate sharks to facilitate an unbridled loot of resources at the cost of death, destruction and displacement for the adivasis. Breaking the deathly consensus of all possible shades of parliamentary forces to this so called ‘development’ model, his was one of those voices that galvanized a large section of democratic opinion against Green Hunt. Large enough to cause panic and fluster the powers that be. As the Joint Secretary of Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), Saibaba has been helping to forge solidarities amongst – the Dalits, adivasis, Muslims, oppressed nationalities, peasant, workers, and so on – for the goal of forging a revolutionary unity of the oppressed. As a faculty in DU, Saibaba has been at the forefront of struggles for social justice, for reservation & against privatization – semester system or FYUP – galvanizing teachers & students for democratization of education.

The most evolved mechanism of the Indian state to contain ‘crimes’ such as the above and to witch hunt countless such democratic right activists is to brand and frame them either as “Maoist” or as “Terrorist”. Voices that dare to speak the truth thereby can easily be projected as “threats to national security” and hence “seditious”. By such means Muslims who burn the US flag protesting against imperialist aggression are nabbed as “terrorists”; Kabir Kala Manch activists who sing about breaking the fetters of Brahmanism are nabbed as “anti-nationals”; and those opposing Operation Green Hunt are nabbed as “Maoists”. With masterful precision, improved upon through repeated rendition, the state apparatus – its police, judiciary, media – complement each other all along this process of branding, threatening, framing, abducting, incarcerating and at other times encountering. We have seen the chronicle being repeated over and over again in the cases of Comrade Hem, Prashant Rahi, Shahid Azmi, Binayak Sen or countless other nameless faceless people’s activists across the country.

The chronicle of the abduction and arrest had also long been foretold. The corporate media had for quite a while been faithfully reproducing the police claims of Dr. Saibaba having “Maoist links” thereby branding him time and again as also threatening to arrest him. Even at the university level he was systematically harassed with threats of eviction from his residence on flimsy grounds. After arrest of Comrade Hem (a known cultural activist and member of DSU) and Prashant Rahi (prominent journalist) on baseless charges, a concerted attempt began to frame Dr. Saibaba. There was a dastardly raid at his residence within the university premises in September 2013 by a joint team of 60 policemen with a ridiculous warrant of “search for stolen property”. Despite several representations to the Delhi University, the Chancellor, as well as the NHRC, which incidentally had taken note of the gross violations on Dr. GN Saibaba during the illegal raid of his house such harassments continued unabated. In January 2014, the Maharashtra police came with the pretext of a so called “interrogation” and in the absence of any evidence resorted to blatant threats and intimidations. The next step thereby was to surreptitiously abduct him and frame him under absurd charges. He was produced yesterday in the Aheri court at Gadchirolli, Maharashtra, and has been given judicial custody.

It goes without saying that Dr Saibaba who had been in the midst of just struggles outside the prison bars will continue to struggle even from behind the bars. But the manner in which he has been taken away in broad daylight is a challenge for all the people who stand for democratic rights. It is the responsibility of all democratic and progressive sections to build a united struggle to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Dr. Saibaba, Comrade Hem, Prashant Rahi and all other political prisoners. While the coming years, with or without Modi, are days when fascism is going to further tighten its grip in this country marking the beginning of what many may call a dark chapter of history; but as GN Saibaba himself said a few days back while addressing a meeting, “it is such united struggles of the most oppressed and the progressive sections that can and will turn the coming years into the brightest chapter of history.”

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COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

Date: 10/05/2014

But, because I tried to extend your liberties
Mine were curtailed.
Because I tried to rear the temple of freedom
For you all I was thrown into the cell of a felon’s jail…
Because I tried to give voice to truth,
I was condemned to silence…
You may say this is not a public question.
But it is!

CONDEMN AND EXPOSE THE FRAME UP OF DELHI UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR GN SAIBABA!

– See more at: http://sanhati.com/articles/9849/#sthash.gUhSyVkl.L5jjFES4.dpuf

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