Saibaba’s acquittal proves that ‘urban naxal’ tag was completely bogus: Congress

Left parties call for repeal of the “draconian” Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act

Published - October 14, 2022 08:23 pm IST - New Delhi

G.N. Saibaba. File

G.N. Saibaba. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The Congress and the Left parties on Friday welcomed the acquittal of former Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba by the Bombay High Court. The Left parties called for repeal of the “draconian” Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). 

Congress general secretary (Communications) Jairam Ramesh said the acquittal proved that “urban naxal” tag was completely bogus. He tweeted, “Wheelchair-bound Prof GN Saibaba’s acquittal after 5 years in jail proves that ‘urban naxal’ tag invented by PM’s brigade is completely bogus. Many others are still in wholly unjustifiable custody. Such smear tactics must be resisted.” He also added that he wouldn’t be surprised if Prime Minister Narendra Modi called him an urban naxal too.

‘Illegal methods’

CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat said the judgment highlighted the “utterly arbitrary, politically motivated and illegal methods used to book persons under the UAPA”. Even the minimum procedure required under the law was not followed in Mr. Saibaba’s case, she said. While welcoming Mr. Saibaba’s acquittal, Ms. Karat said the draconian “UAPA” must be scrapped without delay. “As per the government’s reply to the Rajya Sabha in August this year, between 2018 and 2020, 4,960 individuals were booked under the UAPA and only 149 were convicted. It clearly shows that the law is being used to destroy democratic rights and to intimidate those who protest or express dissent against this government,” Ms. Karat said.

CPI general secretary D. Raja called the Bombay High Court’s judgment a triumph of truth. Mr. Raja, who had been in constant touch with Mr. Saibaba’s family, tweeted, “After years of state-sponsored torture, terror & lies, truth has finally triumphed. Struggle for human rights, repeal of draconian laws & release of political prisoners will continue!”  

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