India professor held for alleged Maoist links

Wheelchair-bound English professor GN Saibaba is arrested for allegedly being ‘urban contact’ of banned CPI (Maoist).

Police in India have arrested a university professor accused of links with Maoist rebels, according to reports.

GN Saibaba, who teaches English at the University of Delhi, was arrested on Friday in the capital, New Delhi, by a team from western Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district – a stronghold of communist rebels.

“We have brought him to Nagpur from Delhi. Professor G Saibaba has been booked under sections 13, 18, 20, 39 of UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act),” Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Anti-Naxal Operations told English-language channel NDTV on Saturday.

The Hindu newspaper quoting a top police official said that the wheel-chair bound professor was arrested for allegedly being an ‘urban contact’ of the banned CPI (Maoist). 

In January, police had questioned the professor, who teaches at the university’s Ram Lal Anand College, for his alleged links with the rebels.

The police allege that Saibaba was an overground worker for the Maoists or Naxals – a charge he denies.

Activism fallouts?

Several rights activists and Saibaba’s family and have called it a case of abduction by plainclothesmen, and said the professor was being framed.

AS Vasantha, the professor’s wife, told the Hindu that her “husband had been targeted because of his activism”.

“The manner in which he was picked up and arrested by the police shows that this is an attempt to silence him. The arrest is shocking,” Nandita Narain, President of Delhi University Student’s Union (DUSU) told NDTV.

Maoist rebels control large areas of what officials call India’s “red corridor” stretching from northeast to central India.

They say they are fighting for the rights of the poor. India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called Maoists the country’s greatest internal security threat.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies