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Ex-DU professor Saibaba sentenced to life for Maoist links

Former professor of Delhi University Saibaba being brought to the Gadchiroli court on Tuesday.

Former professor of Delhi University Saibaba being brought to the Gadchiroli court on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Sentenced with four others under the draconian UAPA

A sessions court in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra on Tuesday convicted the Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba for Maoist links and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

Four others, including former Jawaharlal Nehru University student Hem Mishra and former journalist Prashant Rahi, were convicted along with the DU professor and sentenced to “imprisonment for life” by Gadchiroli sessions judge Suryakant S.Shinde.

Professor Saibaba, Mr. Mishra, Mr. Rahi and two residents of Gadchiroli —Mahesh Tirki, Pandu Narote — were convicted under Sections 13, 18, 20, 38 and 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and Section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code for connections with the banned Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), an organisation linked with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Also read: Govt. wanted to kill me: Saibaba | The best way to stop me was to throw me in jail, says Saibaba

The sixth accused in the case, Mr.Vijay Tirki, was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for ten years. The court concurred with the prosecution’s charges and held that the police could prove their charges with the help of “hard-disks and information” recovered from his computer and other places.

JNU student Hem Mishra, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment, for his alleged Maoist links. Photo: Special Arrangement

JNU student Hem Mishra, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment, for his alleged Maoist links. Photo: Special Arrangement  

Calling the verdict shocking, defence counsel Surendra Gadling said that his clients would go in appeal against the verdict in the High Court.

Prosecution lawyer Mr. Prashant Sathianathan called it a “unique verdict”. “It’s a very special verdict especially to take care of white collared people who are involved in such (Maoist) activities. Professor Saibaba and other accused in this case were high-profile people and this verdict is a message to their organisations. This is a unique case or probably the first in which the conviction was done based solely on electronic evidence and videos,” he told The Hindu.

Prashant Rahi, a freelance journalist and human rights activist from Uttarakhand, during his arrest in 2013. Rahi has been convicted for Maoist links and sentenced to life in prison. Photo: Special Arrangement

Prashant Rahi, a freelance journalist and human rights activist from Uttarakhand, during his arrest in 2013. Rahi has been convicted for Maoist links and sentenced to life in prison. Photo: Special Arrangement  

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2020 3:07:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/du-professor-saibaba-convicted-for-maoist-links/article17422375.ece

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