Family of Dr. GN Saibaba, former Delhi University professor who is 90 percent disabled has written to the state home minister to instruct jail authorities of Nagpur Central jail where he is lodged, to release him on parole and provide him with caretakers as he is dependent on help for daily routines and presently has no one to assist.
The letter from Dr. Saibaba’s wife AS Vasantha Kumari and brother Gokarakonda Ramadevudu said that the professor, who is serving a life sentence for Maoist links, has post-polio residual paralysis and needs help of one or two caretakers and used to be supported at home by family for day-to-day chores.
It said further that his left hand is not functioning and right hand is also slowly becoming so. He faces difficulty in shifting himself from his wheelchair to his bed and vice-versa without help. He also needs help with eating food, brushing, bathing and using the toilet, it said. Two of his caretakers were afflicted with COVID and are reluctant to help him, it added.
Dr. Saibaba had tested positive for COVID-19 in February. Vasantha told FPJ that he is feeling fatigue and his hand shakes while holding a spoon due to after effects of the virus. She said he informed his advocate on a phone call on Friday that he has no caretakers to assist him.
Her letter said further that during bail hearings the jail has informed the Bombay HC that required caretakers are being provided to him, but that this is not being done.
It requested that the minister look at the issue sympathetically from humanitarian grounds and instruct the authorities to provide him two caretakers.
Nagpur Jail Superintendent Anup Kumar Kumre when contacted, said that the jail manual has no rule that disabled prisoners should be provided with caretakers. “Since Saibaba is 90 percent disabled, if anyone agrees or shows willingness, we ask them to assist him.” He added that Saibaba needs to speak with them politely and if he treats them as his workers and does not behave well with them, then how will it work. Kumre said that still, they have provided him with one caretaker. “He is not the only prisoner, we have 2,500 prisoners. Still we take care as they are our responsibility,” he said.