Join the picket at the High Commission of India, Aldwych, London , WC2B 4NA
From 1pm on 28th June 2015
Dr GN Saibaba, a professor of Delhi University and a versatile democratic rights champion was clandestinely abducted on 9th May 14 by plain-clothes Indian policemen. Since then, charged under the draconian anti-terror law the ‘Unlawful activities Prevention Act’ (UAPA), he has been kept under solitary confinement in a dark cell of Nagpur Central Prison in the Indian State of Maharashtra.
Dr Saibaba, who is wheelchair bound with 90% disability, has been in the forefront of democratic rights movements across the Indian subcontinent. He campaigned tirelessly against ‘Operation Green Hunt’ - the Indian State’s war on the poorest of the poor of India, such as Dalits, Adivasis and peasants of Central and Eastern India, who are struggling to safeguard their lands, forests and rivers from being grabbed by the mighty and powerful multi-national corporations – both foreign and Indian – in the name of ‘development’. For questioning the model of this so called ‘development’, Dr Saibaba is incarcerated. Expression of one’s views on political and socio-economic issues is not a crime but a very basic democratic right granted by the Indian Constitution to all its citizens. Perhaps Dr Saibaba’s only “crime” is that he stood in solidarity with the sons and daughters of the soil, who are on the verge of extinction, thanks to the corporate assault on their lives and livelihood.
Dr Saibaba suffers from a heart ailment and degeneration of the vertebrae for which he needs constant expert medical attention. After his incarceration, his health has seriously deteriorated in the prison. The Indian State has ensured that Dr Saibaba’s bail application was rejected thrice. The trial has not started even after a year, and the authorities are denying him the necessary medical attention, which suggests that the Indian State is slowly letting Dr GN Saibaba’s health deteriorate to point of no return. Imprisoning a 90% disabled violates the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Persons with Disabilities Act, and the UN Conventions. This is just a glaring example of a complete travesty of justice which happens far too often in the Indian subcontinent. There are 300,000 prisoners waiting for trial in the Indian jails, languishing for years without legal access, majority of them hailing from the most deprived communities.
We appeal to all intellectuals, lawyers, students, workers and trade union activists of Britain and Europe to condemn the incarceration of Dr Saibaba and thousands of many others by joining the Campaign for the Defence and Release of Political Prisoners.
Indian Workers Association, GB (Central Organising Committee)
Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC), UK
Tohum Cultural Centre – London