Mumbai, March 8: Delhi University professor GN Saibaba and five others were convicted and awarded with the life imprisonment for their alleged links with Maoists under the Unlawful Prevention of Atrocities Act (UAPA), by the session court in Gadchiroli of Maharashtra on Tuesday.
Along with professor Saibaba, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Hem Mishra, former journalist Prashant Rahi and three others were also convicted. The court found all the accused guilty of waging war against the country and supporting the ideology of the banned organization, CPI (Maoist). Judge Suryakant Shinde sentenced Saibaba, Mishra and three others to life imprisonment while sixth person Vijay Tirke was sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment.
Special public prosecutor Prashant Sathianathan said: “Considering the impact of the activities of Prof. Saibaba and his associates, the court awarded life imprisonment under Sections 13, 18, 20, 38 and 39 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and Section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code.”
Earlier, Saibaba was arrested soon after a JNU student Hemant Mishra, revealed secrets during interrogation that he was acting as a link between the DU professor and Maoists in the Abujmad Forests of Chhattisgarh. However, in March 2016, a Supreme Court bench of Justice JS Khehar and Justice Nagappan, acting on a special leave petition, that challenged the rejection of the bail application of Saibaba by the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay HC, granted bail to the professor on health grounds.
The wheelchair-bound professor Saibaba is 90 percent disabled and was paralysed from the waist downwards after contracting polio in his childhood. Vasantha, the wife of suspended Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, who was convicted by a sessions court for having Maoist links, expressed anguish at the verdict and said, “Is fascist government ne humare saath aisa kiya, ki humare aankh me aansu nahi aa rahe hain, aag aa rahi hai.”