Shifting ‘Maoist sympathiser’ Saibaba may be risky: Maha govt
The Devendra Fadnavis government has opposed the idea of moving out wheelchair-bound Delhi University professor and alleged Maoist sympathizer GN Saibaba from Nagpur jail to Gadchiroli district on the ground the area was infested with Maoists who may attempt to rescue him. The Supreme Court on February 23 questioned Saibaba’s solitary confinement, asking Maharashtra government to make alternate arrangement to house him at Gadchiroli because the criminal case, accusing him of having links with banned Naxal organizations, was pending there.
Arrested in May 2014 from the Delhi University campus, Saibaba has been in Nagpur jail. He moved the SC for bail on medical grounds saying he has to travel 170km every time to attend his case proceedings in Gadchiroli. In its affidavit before the top court, Maharashtra said it has received intelligence inputs that Maoists have launched a campaign to free Saibaba. “The respondent (Maharashtra) apprehends that if the petitioner is kept at Gadchiroli, outside the prison, the Maoists may attack the police for rescuing the petitioner…,” read the affidavit. It referred to a press note published on a website, calling upon the cadres to launch a nationwide agitation for Saibaba’s release. “We want you (state) to make him comfortable. Tell us how you will make him comfortable. You cannot have him in solitary confinement,” a bench had told the state counsel, Nishant Katneshwarkar.