Lawyer says Saibaba denied cap in jail, authorities reject claim

The lawyer of former Delhi professor, GN Saibaba, who is serving life term in Nagpur Central Jail for alleged Maoist links, said on Sunday that the jail authorities refused to accept a woollen cap and several other items that his family sent for him. However, the jail authorities rejected the allegations.

According to Saibaba’s lawyer, Aakash Sarode as many as 34 different things that Saibaba wanted, the prison authorities accepted only 13 items when he went there three days back to hand them over.

“Of the essentials, you have even refused to accept woollen cap/monkey cap, Napkin, handkerchief, towel, and white T- shirt, while you accepted underwear and loincloth only. Given the bone-chilling cold that whole of Nagpur is facing at the moment, I fail to understand how else do you expect my client to save himself from cold,” asked Sarode through a letter to the jail superintendent.

The Gadchiroli district sessions court convicted Saibaba and five others in 2017 for aiding and abetting Maoist activities and waging a war against the nation. Saibaba is wheel-chair bound professor with 90% disability. His lawyer stated that his condition was deteriorating and he is also suffering from multiple ailments. .

He said that a month back, Saibaba had consulted the jail authorities about the essential things. Subsequently, he made a list of the things and submitted an application to the jail authorities, Sarode said. “On December 24, I went to the jail with all the material along with the list of items… However, the jail officials refused to accept several things, which neither pose any security threat nor any danger of Covid-19 spread,” alleged the lawyer.

However, the jail superintendent, Anup Kumre, dismissed all the allegations and said that most of the items are repetitions, which are already in Saibaba’s possession, like sweater, woollen monkey cap and woollen blanket. “We are very reasonable with the jail inmates and always ready to help them as per the jail norms,” he said. Moreover, the Nagpur central prison is a Covid-19 prone area and hence the authorities are also very careful to allow outside material in the jail, he said.

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