Skip to main content

Why Govt of India fears release of Dr Saibaba, a person with 90% disabilities? asks wife

By Our Representative 

The wife of Dr GN Saibaba, jailed wheelchair bound former professor of Delhi University with 90% disability and several severe comorbidities, has complained that, despite her husband was tested Covid-19 positive on February 12, he was not taken to hospital, wondering, “Why is a person suffering from post-polio paralysis, a person who cannot walk, a person whose heart and mind work but every other part of his body is affected, not being given bail? Why is the state afraid of giving him bail?”
Addressing media conference in Delhi organised by the Committee for the Defence and Release of Dr GN Saibaba, who is lodged at the anda cell (solitary confinement) of Nagpur Central Prison on being arrested on May 9, 2014 on charges of having Naxalite-Maoist links, Vasantha said, 13 out of 25 people in his barrack tested positive. Despite this, not just he but none of the inmates were taken to the hospital. They were provided basic antibiotics and told to fend for themselves.
She further said, Dr Saibaba was not allowed to meet his dying mother or even perform the last rites after her death. When so many others were being given parole, bail or even being acquitted after being released from jail, why is Dr Saibaba still being held in custody?, she asked, pointing towards the terror she felt when she heard of Kanchan Nannaware, a prisoner with a severe ailment in the heart who was operated on and died during surgery, a surgery performed without informing her husband or family.
General secretary of the National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) Muralidharan told media, “The experience of Dr Saibaba amounts to nothing but torture, cruelty and indignity.” As someone speaking for the rights of persons with disabilities, he said, “We are demanding that they implement the laws enshrined in the Constitution”, adding, denial of assistive devices like wheelchairs for persons who cannot walk amounts to torture. “In light of the torture faced by him, Dr Saibaba must be released”, he added.
Former president of the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) Nandita Narain, “Today, justice looks at the face of the person standing before it and gives justice accordingly. If you are a Saibaba, Sudha Bharadwaj or others, false cases are foisted on you, something proved beyond doubt by the Arsenal Report.” She added, “We are here to demand his release on bail and proper medical treatment instead of the anda cell.”
Speaking of the use of electronic evidence to accuse, charge and convict dissenting voices, well-known Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan said, the manner in which emails are planted in computers, as revealed by the Arsenal Consulting Report, suggests the need to take up Justice DY Chandrachud’s dissent in the Supreme Court in the petition filed by Romila Thapar and others in light of the Bhima Koregaon arrests where emails which were allegedly recovered from the computers of people using a language unknown to its purported author.
Today, anyone who questions the government is targeted. They are not afraid of Dr Saibaba's body but his brain
He said, “They are now going after everyone who is seen as against the government. They have even gone after journalists who have written stories against the government. The method of doing this is by making any kind of charge. As seen in the Delhi Riots case, they have gone after people against whom they have no evidence, people like Devangana Kalita, Safoora Zargar, Umar Khalid besides many others, all of whom are targeted under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).”
Bhushan felt that this law is utilised due to the provision where at the first instance, without any investigation into the facts of the case, the judge is expected to establish if there is a prima facie case against the accused. He stated, “Unless the police are held accountable for foisting false cases, they will go on doing this.” Likewise, he added, the continued incarceration of Dr Saibaba amounts to torture and he called on the courts, the establishment and the others to ensure that he is released immediately.
Drawing connections between the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, Sedition Act, the role of the BJP-RSS and the incarceration of Dr Saibaba, former CPI Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha D Raja said, “Today, anyone who questions the government is targeted. We are facing a grave threat to the ethos that we have been proud of. Today, we are witnessing fascist rule.” He wondered why is the government afraid of Dr Saibaba, pointing out, “They are not afraid of his body but his brain.”
A member of the defence committee for Dr Saibaba, filmmaker Sanjay Kak said, the threat to Dr Saibaba’s life “is also a threat to us and what lies ahead for all of us”. Prof Parminder Singh added, Dr Saibaba stood in defence the basic rights of the people of this country to their livelihood, resources and culture, one reason why the demand for his release becomes absolutely urgent and legitimate, as his incarceration is part of the onslaught against all those who speak against the attack on the resources of this country.
Well-known writer Arundhati Roy, pointing out how how the incarceration of Dr Saibaba, a person in judicial custody, amounts to torture every single day that he spends behind bars, said, “Every single day something irreversible is happening to him. This is every day, slowly taking something away from him. While there is a sliding scale of access on the basis of ability, caste, class etc., for a person like Dr. Saibaba who is paralysed waist down, for him even in judicial custody he is tortured every day and everything that happens to him is irreversible.”
She said, “What we are witnessing now is not politics, it is pathology”, pointing out, “We have to remember that some of the best lawyers in this country, including Dr. Saibaba’s lawyer, Adv Surendra Gadling, is in jail. “Anyone who stands up for anyone is in jail”, she said, adding, ,“Today, it is dangerous to be in the defence committee. Whoever speaks for Dr Saibaba is likely to be picked up, be it Rona Wilson, Hany Babu and others.”

Comments

TRENDING

New Odia CM's tribal heritage 'sets him apart' from Hindutva Brahminical norms

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Mohan Charan Majhi took the oath as the new Chief Minister of Odisha following the electoral defeat of the BJD led by Naveen Patnaik, who served as Chief Minister for twenty-four years. The new Chief Minister is the son of a security guard and a four-time MLA who hails from the remote village of Raikala in the Keonjhar district. He belongs to the Santali tribe and comes from a working-class family. Such achievements and political mobilities are possible only in a democratic society. Majhi’s leadership even in the form of symbolic representation in a democracy deserves celebration.

Sanction to persecute Arundhati Roy under UAPA politically motivated: PUCL

Counterview Network  Top human rights group, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, has demanded that the authorities should immediately withdraw the prosecution against top author Arundhati Roy and Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a Kashmir academic, under the " unconstitutional"  Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act  (UAPA), calling the Delhi  Lieutenant-Governor nod for the Delhi police move "politically motivated".

What stops Kavach? Why no time to focus on common trains meant for common people?

By Atanu Roy  A goods train rammed into Kanchenjunga Express on 17th June morning in North Bengal. This could have been averted if the time tested anti-collision system (Kavach) was in place. 

AMR: A gathering storm that threatens a century of progress in medicine

By Bobby Ramakant*  A strategic roundtable on “Charting a new path forward for global action against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)” was organised at the 77th World Health Assembly or WHA (WHA is the apex decision-making body of the World Health Organization – WHO, which is attended by all countries that are part of the WHO – a United Nations health agency). AMR is among the top-10 global health threats “Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a growing and urgent crisis which is already a leading cause of untimely deaths globally. More than 2 people die of AMR every single minute,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO. “AMR threatens to unwind centuries of progress in human health, animal health, and other sectors.”

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Lip-service on World Environment Day vs 'watered-down' eco-safeguards

By Shankar Sharma*  Just a few days ago, the world remembered the routinely forgotten global environment on the occasion of World Environment Day, briefly though, maybe just for the day. There were reports of a few high profile ceremonies in different parts of the country, including a few in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly asked the people of our country to plant one tree per each person as a mark of respect/ gratitude for our mothers.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.