Saibaba denied woollen cap, physiotherapy band in jail: Lawyer

Only 13 of 34 essential items requested by former Delhi University professor, convicted for Maoist activities, was accepted by jail authorities; books, a towel, a note pad and an India Today magazine were not allowed  

Saibaba is serving life term for Maoist links at the Nagpur jail | File Photo

GN Saibaba, a former professor of Delhi University, convicted for Maoist activities, has been allegedly denied several things including books, blank paper sheets, a towel, a wrist cuff for physiotherapy and even a woollen cap among others, by authorities of Nagpur Central Prison when he is lodged, his lawyer has said.

A TOI report, quoting the Maoist ideologue’s wife said jail authorities allegedly didn’t even allow the woollen cap despite dipping temperatures.

Saibaba’s lawyer Aakash Sorde who went to the jail with 34 items, could convince jail authorities to receive only 13.

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The activist has also been barred from receiving handkerchiefs, napkins or even a white t-shirt. He was only allowed to have two pairs of underwear and a white lungi.

A senior jail official, however, told PTI that they have accepted only the necessary things that Saibaba requires, as they cannot allow everything inside.

Sorde said while jail authorities had initially approved all the list of materials, they refused to accept them later. The list reportedly contained medicines, essential for Saibaba.

“A month back, Prof Saibaba had consulted with the jail authorities about the essential things that he requires and which can be brought from outside. Subsequently, he made a list of the things and submitted an application to the jail authorities so that his family could send these articles,” Sarode said.

“Accordingly, his family sent these things to me. On December 24, I went to the jail with all the material along with the list of items. I tried to hand over these things to the authorities. However, the jail staff refused to accept several things, which neither pose any security threat nor pose any danger of COVID-19 spread,” he said.

Some of the things that the authorities refused to hand over to him were three books, a pack of 200 pages of blank white papers, a note pad, copy of ”India Today” magazine, a wrist weight cuff of 1 kg that he needs as part of his physiotherapy, the lawyer said.

“Similarly, a shampoo bottle, a woollen cap (monkey cap), a napkin, a handkerchief, a towel and a white T-shirt were refused by the jail authorities. In all, there were 34 items, but only 13 were accepted,” Sarode added.

He said he has e-mailed a letter to the Superintendent of the jail about refusal to accept these things.

“I am yet to receive a reply form him,” Sarode said.

When contacted, Superintendent of Nagpur prison Anup Kumre said that all the necessary things required by Saibaba or any other jail inmates were allowed and given to them as per the jail manual.

“We accept all the necessary things as well as things required as he (Saibaba) has health issues,” he said.

Saibaba is wheelchair-bound with 90 per cent physical disabilities. In 2017, a court in Maharashtras Gadchiroli convicted him and four others for Maoist links and taking part in activities amounting to waging war against the country. Since his conviction, Saibaba has been lodged in the Nagpur jail.

(With inputs from agencies)

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