Saibaba

Members of Indians Abroad for Pluralist India (IAPI) came together on Sunday, February 14, to raise their voices for the jailed Indian scholar who is being incarcerated despite being disabled below the waist, and having been tested positive for COVID 19.

A well-known human rights defender, former Delhi University Professor GN Saibaba is currently serving a life term after having been convicted on trumped up charges for merely standing up for the oppressed groups and religious minorities.

He was arrested after being branded as a Maoist sympathiser for mobilizing public rallies against the state violence on Adivasis, or the indigenous peoples of India, who are being evicted from their traditional lands by the corporates with the backing of the Indian establishment in the name of development. Since Maoist insurgents are active in the tribal belt of India, Saibaba was accused of being a sympathizer of the radical left.

The right wing Hindu nationalist government refuses to release him on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, in spite of his deteriorating health on account of several ailments, and increasing global pressure. So much so, he was denied an opportunity to meet his mother who passed away recently because of cancer.

The news of his having been tested positive for COVID 19 has sparked fear and apprehension among his admirers both within and outside India.

The IAPI held an emergency rally seeking his release, outside Indian Visa and Passport Application Center in Surrey.

Braving snow and cold weather, members of the group showed up at the demonstration holding signs and raising slogans against the draconian laws being used to supress any voice of dissent and to keep political activists behind bars. They also glued a sign asking for his release near the entrance of the office.

IAPI was instrumental behind a petition for Saibaba in the past that attracted thousands of signatures from the residents of Canada.


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