Press Statement by Committee for the Defence and Release of Dr G N Saibaba

The Committee for the Defence and Release of G N Saibaba strongly condemns the unwarranted raid on 2nd August 2020 by officers of the National Intelligence Agency, on the house of Dr Hany Babu, a member of the Committee.

Dr Babu was arrested on the 28th of July 2020 in connection with the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case. The raid at his house, conducted on the 2nd morning, was ostensibly to collect material to corroborate the arrest. It defies all logic that the arrest of Dr Babu was made without sufficient basis, to the point that the NIA now finds itself searching for material to justify the arrest, post-facto and concocting false”evidence” against him.

Dr Saibaba’s appeal against his conviction is still pending in the Nagpur High Court, and given the paucity of evidence against him, and the real possibility that his conviction may be overturned in court, the NIA seems to be fishing for grounds at this point.

We are also given to understand that the material confiscated from Dr Babu’s house during this second raid, was almost solely to do with the Committee for the Defence and Release of G N Saibaba. Predictably, the NIA’s statement released on 2 August 2020, states that ‘Hany Babu along with other accused…Rona Wilson, Anand Teltumbde, P Varavara Rao and Surendra Gadling formed a Committee for the release of G N Saibaba who was sentenced to life imprisonment for his links with CPI (Maoist).’ This smacks of an ulterior motive, viz., to criminalise this Committee and its members, through the principle of ‘guilty by association’.

It must be noted that this Committee is constituted of non-partisan, concerned citizens from a range of backgrounds and professions, who came together in 2014 when Dr G N Saibaba was arrested, and was convened by his colleagues in Delhi University; Dr Hany Babu’s involvement in the Committee is in this context. The Committee’s sole concern was, and remains, for the pending legal and urgent, life-threatening medical issues pertaining to Dr Saibaba’s case. The legitimacy and validity of these concerns are evident from the fact that even the United Nations Rapporteur has expressed concern for Dr Saibaba’s medical and legal condition, and sought his bail on medical grounds.

The Committee reaffirms its commitment to these concerns, and its conviction in the innocence of Dr G N Saibaba, as well as of Dr Hany Babu, and others recently arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case. It calls on the appropriate authorities to reign in the intimidatory tactics of its investigative agencies, and reiterates its strong condemnation of such measures.

Prof Hargopal

Committee for the Defence and Release of Dr G N Saibaba


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