THE CPI (Maoist) has called a ‘Bharat bandh’ on March 29 against the sentencing of six persons, including Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, for Maoist links.
In a verdict pronounced on March 7, the Gadchiroli district court sentenced Saibaba, Hem Mishra, Prashant Rahi and two others to life imprisonment and another person to ten years in prison.
“Sending those fighting against the exploitation of people through sellout of natural resources to corporate companies to jail for life and long duration must be fought against. The people must stand up against fascist, Brahminical Hindutva forces by creating a united front of broad democratic and secular forces,” the Left-wing extremists have said in posters and banners recovered by the police.
The Naxals have also called for observing a protest week in the memory of revolutionaries Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru to underscore the demand to release the six convicts, according to a press note issued by the Anti-Naxal Operation (ANO) unit here.
Citing the bandh call, the ANO said, “It has exposed the claim of the Naxal frontal organisations that Saibaba and others were not linked to Maoists. The protest call clearly establishes that all of them, including Saibaba, were working on behalf of Maoists. The press note further claims that some frontal organisations of Naxalites have demanded scrapping of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) under which Saibaba and others were convicted. It has also claimed that secret meetings were held by these activists at Nagpur, Gadchiroli and Armori between March 17 and 19 to devise strategy to increase pressure for the release of the six convicts.”
The press note added, “Barely two days after Saibaba’s arrest on May 9, 2014, Naxalites had killed seven policemen in a blast in Gadchiroli. And immediately after his conviction on March 7, they carried out a blast in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh killing 12 policemen.”