UN intervention sought for release of Delhi Univ academic, sentenced for life: Prof Saibaba suffers from 90% disability

By Our Representative
The South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre (SAHRDC), a Delhi-based advocacy group, has approached Dainius Puras, Special Rapporteur on Right to Health, United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to seek the release Dr GN Saibaba on parole on medical grounds. An English lecturer at Ramlal College, Delhi University, he was arrested by the Maharashtra Police on May 9, 2014, for his “association” with Maoist groups.
Saibaba was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Gadhchiroli Sessions Court in Maharashtra on March 7, 2017, under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for “waging war against the country and supporting the ideology of a banned organization”.
Ravi Nair, executive director, SAHRDC, in a letter to the UNHRC special rapporteur, seeking the release of Saibaba from the Nagpur Central Jail, where he is currently being held, says the academic is being subjected to various forms of inhumane treatment in the jails.
Pointing out that Saibaba requires constant medical care such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and hydrotherapy in order for his condition to stop deteriorating, Nair says, “He has also formed multiple stones in his gallbladder and requires immediate surgery”.
Nair adds, the professor might die if the UN did not intervene and asked them to start the discussion regarding his health with the Indian Government immediately.
According to the letter, on April 2, his wife, Vasantha Saibaba was refused entry and was also manhandled by the women police. She filed an application along with an affidavit for accompanying her husband to the hospital.
Insisting that Saibaba’s condition requires constant family support which was clearly denied, the letter says, Saibaba is being denied basic medical care and is manhandled in his wheelchair, causing him to fall and break his bones.
Asking the UN special rapporteur to seek immediate transfer of Dr Saibaba from Nagpur Central Jail to Cherlapalli Central Prison, Hyderabad, where he can be closer to his family and get medical and moral support, the letter says, the Indian government is “violating” the UN basic principles for the Treatment of Prisoner.
The letter cites the UN Resolution 70/175 which states that there shall be no discrimination of prisoners on the grounds of political status and that all prisoners shall have access to the health services available in the country without discrimination.
During his solitary confinement in Nagpur Jail, Saibaba reportedly wrote a letter to his wife, Vasantha, regarding his concerns about his health. “I am living here like an animal taking its last breaths”, he wrote. “Somehow eight months I managed to survive. But I am not going to survive in the coming winter. I am sure. It is of no use to write about my health any longer.”
He added, “I am feeling so depressed for requesting you all so many times like a beggar, a destitute. But none of you are moving an inch, no one understand my present condition. No one understands 90% disabled person is behind bars struggling with one hand in condition and suffering with multiple ailments. And no one cares for my life. This is simply criminal negligence, a callous attitude.”, he said in the letter.”

Comments

Uma Sheth said…
Shocking! What are the courts doing? Why hasn't a judge taken up this matter without waiting for someone to approach them?