Only 13 of 34 essential items requested by the former Delhi University professor and convicted of Maoist activities were accepted by prison authorities. Books, towel, notepad, and India Today magazine were not allowed
GN Saibaba, a former Delhi University professor convicted of Maoist activities, was allegedly turned down by Nagpur Central Prison authorities for books, blank sheets of paper, a towel, a wrist cuff for physiotherapy, and even a woolen hat, among other things when he was housed is, said his lawyer.
A TOI report quoting the Maoist ideologist’s wife said prison authorities allegedly hadn’t even approved the woolen hat despite falling temperatures.
Saibaba’s attorney Aakash Sorde, who went to jail with 34 items, was able to convince prison authorities to only get 13.
The activist was also forbidden from receiving handkerchiefs, napkins or even a white T-shirt. He was only allowed to wear two pairs of underwear and one white lungi.
However, a senior prison officer told PTI that they have only accepted the necessary things that Saibaba needs as they cannot let everything in.
Sorde said that while the prison authorities initially approved all the bill of materials, they refused to accept them later. The list reportedly included drugs that are essential for Saibaba.
“A month ago, Prof. Saibaba had consulted with the prison authorities about the essential things that he needed and that could be brought from outside. Then he made a list of things and filed a request with the prison authorities so that his family could send these items, ”Sarode said.
“Accordingly, his family sent me these things. On December 24th, I went to jail with all of the materials and the list of items. I tried to turn these things over to the authorities. However, the prison staff refused to accept various things that are neither a security threat nor a threat to the spread of COVID-19, ”he said.
Some of the things the authorities refused to give him were three books, a box of 200 pages of blank white papers, a notepad, a copy of India Today magazine, and a 1kg wrist cuff that he needs as part of his physical therapy, said the lawyer.
“A shampoo bottle, a woolen hat (monkey cap), a napkin, a handkerchief, a towel and a white T-shirt were also rejected by the prison authorities. There were 34 articles in total, but only 13 were accepted, ”added Sarode.
He said he emailed the superintendent of the prison refusing to accept these items.
“I have yet to get an answer from him,” said Sarode.
When the superintendent of Nagpur Prison, Anup Kumre, was contacted, he said that any necessary things required of Saibaba or other prison inmates were allowed and given to them according to the prison manual.
“We accept all necessary and necessary things as he (Saibaba) has health problems,” he said.
Saibaba is wheelchair-bound and 90 percent physically disabled. In 2017, a court in Maharashtras Gadchiroli convicted him and four others of Maoist affiliations and participation in activities tantamount to war against the country. Saibaba has been held in Nagpur Prison since he was sentenced.
(With contributions from agencies)