Mumbai : The Maharashtra police have accused Prof. G N Saibaba of being an active member of the CPI (Maoist) and being in touch with top Naxal leaders, including their chief Muppalla Laxmana Rao a.k.a. Ganapathi, through a series of trusted couriers.

Saibaba was agitating against government’s anti-Maoist ‘Operation Green Hunt’ launched in the tribal hinterland of central India. The teachers association of Delhi University (DU) condemned his arrest and said he was picked up without warning or notice from the middle of a street located in the varsity’s north campus near his house on Friday afternoon.

According to the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) – Anti Naxal operations, Ravi Kadam, Saibaba is charged with aiding Naxalites and  Maoists and entering into a criminal conspiracy with the banned outfit’s leadership (for espousing their cause through propaganda) and holding meetings.

The professor, who uses a wheelchair, is also accused of being associated with two Jawaharlal Nehru University students Hem Mishra (arrested in August 2013) and Prashant Rahi (arrested in September 2103). Both students, charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act worked as couriers delivering documents and messages between the top leadership in the Maoists who make a home in the Abujmaad forests of Chhattisgarh and Saibaba, according to the police.

According to a well placed source, “While Saibaba was questioned several times and finally arrested in the case, his recent visit to Europe where he addressed an international conference propagating the views of the banned outfits may have been the trigger point for the police to have effected his arrest.”

Ashwini Kumar, heading the Dalit chair at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences said, “The real issue for the police is whether Saibaba was a member of the underground politburo of the Maoists that is trying to develop and penetrate urban consciousness. Most often the police find it difficult to prove whether an obvious Naxal/Maoist smpathizer is also holding a post in the standing committee of the politiburo.”

Renni Abraham

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