Acquitted after being imprisoned for 10 years on terror charges, Saibaba says he faced inhuman conditions and seeks accountability from authorities.

Former Delhi University Professor G.N. Saibaba stated that he was repeatedly tortured and subjected to abuse while in prison. | Photo Credit: Shashi Shekhar Kashyap/ The Hindu


For the first time, former Delhi University Professor G.N. Saibaba, who was acquitted by the Bombay High Court on March 5 after over 10 years of imprisonment, has publicly stated that he was repeatedly tortured and subjected to abuse while in prison in connection with a 2014 Maoist links case. “The inhuman treatment meted out to me during the imprisonment, which amounted to torture, put my life at risk. I was denied medical care on several occasions. It has left me a physical wreck. Today, I am alive before you but my organs are failing me,” said Saibaba, the 58-year-old academic and poet, who is ninety per cent physically disabled due to polio.

Saibaba interacted with the media in New Delhi on March 8 after he was released from the Nagpur Central Jail the previous day. He was arrested on May 9, 2014, under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) 1967 and for criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code, nearly eight months after the Maharashtra police claimed to have recovered “incriminating” documents, pictures, and videos from his home.

However, political observers believe that the Professor’s arrest was part of growing state repression against activists and intellectuals opposed to crony capitalism and the criminalisation of human rights defenders in the country.

Earlier, Saibaba was granted bail in June 2015 by the Bombay High Court and in April 2016 by the Supreme Court. Subsequently, he was convicted on March 7, 2017, for being associated with the banned Maoist organisations by a sessions court in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, and was lodged in the Anda cell, a British-era oval-shaped torture chamber, in Nagpur jail.

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