Govt. wanted to kill me: Saibaba



Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba on Thursday accused the government of trying to silently kill him by refusing him medical treatment. He was released from Nagpur Central Jail during the day after being granted bail by the Supreme Court earlier in the week.

“It looks like they [government and police] wanted to silently kill me with my own ailments. They may not have shot me down but they wanted to kill me like this,” claimed the professor, who was first arrested by the Maharashtra police in May 2014 for alleged links with Maoists, told The Hindu in an exclusive interview.

Prof. Saibaba, who is 90 per cent physically disabled and wheelchair bound, was given bail on medical grounds by the Bombay High Court in June last year. The court’s Nagpur bench, however, cancelled his bail in December and he had to back to prison.

The professor said his health badly deteriorated during his second stint in prison.

“Absolutely no treatment was given to me this time. I was kept inside the solitary Anda cell [egg-shaped high security block]. During my first term in jail, I was taken to hospital 27 times. But this time, I was not even taken to the jail hospital, which is a street away, and was not given any medicine. What they submitted to the Supreme Court was also a blatant lie. I cannot lift my left hand now. I cannot even shift from one place to other without external help, which was not the case earlier. The re-arrest put a break on my medical treatment and my health further deteriorated further.”

When asked why the government was after him, he said: “They are scared of my activism. They have repeatedly told me that because of my campaigns, particularly on adivasi issues, the government was suffering embarrassment. I was warned about it several times even before my arrest. I was told clearly that I would be arrested if I don’t stop.”

The accusations against him, Prof. Saibaba said, were an attempt at frightening intellectuals who were speaking up for common people.

“The message was clear. If they can do this to a person in a wheelchair, then they can do this to any other person as well. They wanted to create an atmosphere of terror to prevent intellectuals from speaking the truth about the ground realities. Any activist or intellectual who is raising fundamental questions about the model of the so called development, is being termed as a Maoist these days.”

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2020 1:56:19 AM |

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