The Hindu (Mumbai)

It is a wonder that I came out of jail alive, says DU exprofesso­r Saibaba

- Abhinay Deshpande

Former Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba on Thursday said it was only by chance that he had come out alive despite experienci­ng “brutal” jail life. He was speaking to pressperso­ns after being released from the Nagpur Central Jail.

The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court on March 5 set aside his life sentence in a Maoist links case, citing the failure of the prosecutio­n to prove charges beyond reasonable doubt and deeming the sanction for prosecutio­n under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act as “null and void”, and a lack of applicatio­n of mind by the State authority.

Professor Saibaba, who had been lodged in jail

Former Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba with his wife during a press conference after he was released.

since 2017 after a trial court in Gadchiroli convicted him and others in the case, expressed concern about his health and the need for medical treatment upon his release.

In poor health

“My health is very bad. I can’t talk. I will have to first take medical treatment,

and only then I will able to speak,” he said. A family member awaited Professor Saibaba outside the jail premises.

The 57yearold wheelchair­bound professor earlier refused to speak to the media about his eight years of incarcerat­ion. However, he changed his mind after requests from lawyers and pressperso­ns.

Describing prison life as “very rigorous and brutal”, he said: “There was every chance that I would not have come out alive. I had no accessibil­ity inside the prison.”

He asked who would give back the 10 years of life spent in jail.

“I couldn’t pull up, I could not move out of my wheelchair. I could not go to the toilet [on my own], and I could not take a bath. It’s a wonder that I came out of the prison alive today,” the former DU Professor said, adding that the cases against him were fabricated.

‘Without facts’

Not once but twice the higher judiciary confirmed that the case was without facts, evidence, and any legally viable matter, he said.

 ?? PTI ??

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