April 27, 2018
Canada-based World Sikh Organisation (WSO) has raised its voice for the disabled Delhi University Professor, who continues to be incarcerated under inhuman conditions.
G.N. Saibaba – who is ninety percent disabled below his waist – is serving a life sentence after being convicted for being a supporter of the Maoist insurgents.
His family and supporters believe that he is being persecuted for standing up for religious minorities and the oppressed communities, and mobilising public opinion against state violence in tribal areas where the government and the extraction industry are trying to evict indigenous communities to get access to natural resources. This situation has forced many tribal people to take up arms and join the Maoist ranks.
Wheelchair bound Saibaba was convicted under a draconian law in March, 2017. His health condition continues to deteriorate in the jail, while his wife fears for his life.
Over 1,000 people in Canada signed a petition asking for international intervention to get him released. Launched by Radical Desi, the petition was submitted to the Canadian parliament by two MPs, Sukh Dhaliwal and Peter Julian, while the Federal New Democratic leader Jagmeet Singh made a statement on social media expressing his concern over the health of Saibaba.
BC Federation of Labour leader Irene Lanzinger also made a statement for Saibaba on International Human Rights Day.
The WSO, which is a powerful lobby group in Canada, has been consistently raising the issues of political prisoners and state repression in India. Its President Mukbir Singh said in a statement that Saibaba’s detention and treatment is “shocking”. “Human rights organisations, including the WSO are concerned that Saibaba has been targeted based on his human rights advocacy work and convicted on false pretenses”.