Delhi University professor GN Saibaba convicted for links with Maoists, awarded life sentence

Gadchiroli: Suspended Delhi University professor GN Saibaba was on Tuesday awarded life imprisonment for having links with Maoists by a Gadchiroli court.

The Sessions Court also convicted five others.

All the six accused were convicted under Sections 13, 18, 20, 38, 39 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and 120 B of the Indian Penal Code.

Apart from Saibaba, those convicted were JNU student Hem Mishra, former journalist Prashant Rahi, Mahesh Tirkey, Pandu Narote, and Vijay Tirkey.

Saibaba is currently out on bail.

Special Public Prosecutor P Sathianathan demanded life sentence for all the six convicts.

He also demanded that no reprieve should be given to Saibaba on health grounds, saying that inspite of his disability he had attended several conferences and seminars in India and abroad and allegedly propagated Maoist ideology.

The defence lawyer did not counter the allegations.

Hem Mishra was arrested along with Mahesh Tirkey and Pandu Narote at Aheri in Gadchiroli district in August 2013.

Based on the leads provided by them, Prashant Rahi and Vijay Tirkey were then arrested from Deori in Gondia district.

Saibaba, a wheelchair-bound teacher with 90 percent physical disability, was arrested in May 2014 by Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli police on charges of being a member of the banned CPI (Maoist), providing logistics and helping in recruitment for the group.

In April 2016, the Supreme Court granted Saibaba bail on medical grounds and ordered his release.

(With Agency inputs)