Release Prof. Saibaba, stop criminalisation of dissent [Text of Resolution passed in Convention]

Collective resolution passed in the “Convention against silencing democracy and criminalizing dissent” in the Hindi Bhavan, New Delhi on May 23rd

[Pictures courtesy: Reyaz ul Haq]

Dr G N Saibaba, Assistant Professor of English at Ram Lal Anand College, University of Delhi, was on his way home from the evaluation center in the University campus when the Maharashtra Police intercepted his car and abducted him without following any procedure laid down by the law of the land. Later it was revealed that Dr Saibaba was charged under sections 13, 18, 20, 38 and 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. Dr Saibaba, a 90% disabled person hailing from an underprivileged background, has been the forefront of democratic movements across the subcontinent and has raised his voice loudly against the oppression and the exploitation of the poorest of the poor by the State machinery, which is hand in glove with the corporate world.

Ever since his arrest, Dr Saibaba has been kept in the notorious “anda” cell in Nagpur Central Jail. He has been denied the most basic facilities including medical help needed for his survival. Even the Jail Superintendent of the Nagpur Central Prison admits in a statement filed in the District Court at Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, on May 11, 2015:

As the said prisoner is 90% physically handicapped with heart disease, bone deformity, neurological problems, kidney stone and gall bladder stone, he requires constant expert evaluation and treatment.

Unless Dr Saibaba gets immediate expert medical attention, his survival itself is in danger. Imprisoning a 90% disabled person is itself illegal as it violates the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Persons with Disabilities Act, and UN Conventions. Denial of bail in this condition is nothing but an attempt at extrajudicial murder.

In this context, on this day the 23 rd of May, 2015, we the people gathered here in the “Convention against silencing democracy and criminalizing dissent” in the Hindi Bhavan, New Delhi, unanimously resolve that we shall take our struggle forward till Dr G N Saibaba is released. We appeal to all the democratic organizations and individuals to join with us in our struggle.