(INDIA, LANKAPUVATH) – A Court in Western India has handed life prison sentences to an academic and 4 other people for having links to Maoist rebels waging an insurgency against the State.
Professor G. N. Saibaba of Delhi University, who is paralysed from the waist down, was arrested 3-years ago but was released on bail.
His family plans to appeal the verdict.
Maoist rebels say they are fighting for communist rule and rights for tribal people and rural poor.
A local Court in Maharashtra State found Prof. Saibaba and 4 others guilty of “Criminal conspiracy and waging war against the nation” on Tuesday (07).
In his verdict the Judge said of him, “Though he is physically handicapped, he is mentally fit”, adding that “The imprisonment for life is not a sufficient punishment to the accused.”
Prof. Saibaba had travelled to tribal areas and prominently campaigned against the activities of the Indian military and a pro-Government, anti-Maoist militia.
He was first arrested in 2014 and accused of being a member of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist), but denied any involvement with the outfit.
“This judgment is a clear way of state impression and violation of human rights. It looks like the State is using the judgement as a landmark to silence those voices who speak against them,” A. S. Vasantha Kumari, Saibaba’s wife told Hindustan Times.
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