Civil rights group Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) has asked for condemning and exposing the frame up of Delhi University Professor GN Saibaba, while also demanded immediate and unconditional release of Prof. GN Saibaba. – Editor
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 ‘securitzed’ 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.
SAR Geelanim, 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