While a spectacle in the name of democracy is on in India in the name of general elections, the real state of democratic rights in India is once again apparent in the arrest of G.N. Saibaba, a teacher (Associate Professor) of Delhi University on 9th May in Delhi by Maharashtra police. While ruling class parties fight each other bitterly for power, their policy consensus and intolerance of those who expose this system and the policies of loot and plunder to the people of India is displayed once more in this arrest. Prof. Saibaba has been a vocal critic of these policies, of the plunder of the country and repression on people’s movements and has been a friend to the fight back of people against these policies. He has been an outspoken critic of fake encounters of communist revolutionaries and of the war against the people being conducted by the ruling classes.
Prof. Saibaba has been teaching English for around a decade at Ram Lal Anand College of Delhi University. He is 90% differently abled, can only move on a wheel chair and has been allotted residence on the University campus. On 9th May, while he was being driven home for lunch after evaluating examination papers in his Dept., he was picked up by Maharashtra police enroute. His family was informed only when he was already taken to the airport for being taken to Gadchiroli (Maharashtra).
Prof. Saibaba had earlier been visited by Maharashtra police twice in the past six months at his university residence, the first time with a search warrant for stolen goods. There was prolonged questioning second time for which he made himself readily available. At that time, his laptop, cell phone and the hard disc of his computer were taken away but were not sealed in his presence or in the presence of eye witnesses, nor was he given any receipt for the same. There was no case for his arrest when he had been cooperating with police in investigations.
The mode of Prof. Saibaba’s arrest is not novel. Throughout the country, those fighting for people’s rights, RTI activists, common people including adivasis fighting for their land and rights are picked up arbitrarily and incarcerated for years. Even when courts acquit them, as in the case of Muslim youths falsely charged with terror, the police officials guilty of foisting false cases are not penalized.
It is surprising that the ice Chancellor of Delhi University has neither disclosed whether he had agreed to this arbitrariness against a teacher of the University, nor has he condemned the arrest. The democratic rights of even teachers of this prestigious university of the capital are also not honoured.
Delhi Committee of CPI(ML)-New Democracy condemns this arrest and demand release of Prof. Saibaba.