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South Asian seniors residing at Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Assisted Living care home in Surrey have joined the chorus in support of physically challenged Delhi University Professor GN Saibaba.

Wheelchair-bound Saibaba, who is ninety percent disabled below the waist, continues to serve a life term in the Maharashtra jail in India.

Convicted for being an alleged supporter of Maoist insurgents, Saibaba has been in the forefront of campaigns against repression of tribal people. His supporters believe that he is being punished for standing up for the underdog and raising his voice against the extraction industry and the Indian government, who are determined to evict tribal people from their traditional lands to take control over natural resources.

Almost 1,000 people in Canada have already signed a petition seeking his release on compassionate grounds.

On Monday, April 9, dozens of seniors with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs, were apprised by the team of Radical Desi about the situation of Saibaba, whose health continues to deteriorate in jail.

This was followed by a question and answer session, after which the majority of participants agreed that Saibaba is being persecuted and should be released on humanitarian grounds. They held together signs with letters, “FREE SAIBABA” to show their support to the family of the interned professor.

Saroj Sood, the president of the group of seniors living at the PICS care home, said that the Indian government must listen to those who want Saibaba to be released, and stop torturing a helpless man. She expressed her outrage at the fact that people like Saibaba are being forced to suffer such inhuman conditions.

A visiting social justice activist from India, Buta Singh, who has been consistently raising the issue of Saibaba, and veteran communist activist Harjit Daudhria were also in attendance.

One Comment

  1. K SHESHU BABU says:

    It is regrettable that State has imprisoned a disabled person reflecting its gross inhumanity and utter callousness. India is trampling the rights of physically disabled which is against international conventions. People all over the world must raise their voices to exert pressure on rulers