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Maoist link cuffs on DU professor

Nagpur, May 9: Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba was today held for alleged links with Maoists, nine months after he was quizzed following the arrest of two suspected rebel couriers in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli, police said.

The wheel-chair bound English professor of Delhi’s Ram Lal Anand College was picked up by Maharashtra police in a case in which the chargesheet was filed in February last year.

Saibaba, the first academic of repute to be arrested for alleged links with the Maoists in the region, is listed as a “wanted accused” in the chargesheet and faces charges under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) along with six others held in the case, police sources said.

“He (Saibaba) is the single biggest hub of communication between central committee members of the CPI (Maoist) and members of their underground urban network. We have evidence to corroborate our charges against him,” Ravindra Kadam, the inspector-general of the Nagpur-Gadchiroli division, said today.

The name of the professor, who originally hails from Andhra Pradesh and was quizzed at his Delhi campus residence last August, cropped up during the interrogation of the alleged rebel couriers, the police sources said.

One of the duo was identified as Hem Mishra, an ex-student of JNU, and the other as Prashant Rahi, an Uttarakhand-based activist and a BHU engineering alumnus.

Mishra and Rai, held just a week apart in Gadchiroli in August last year along with some Maoist cadres, were allegedly headed to meet a central committee member of the CPI (Maoist) in Abujhmadh, the rebel den in neighbouring Chhattisgarh.

The data and documents on the chip seized from Mishra originated from Saibaba’s personal computer, the police sources said. The documents found on Rahi and Mishra were to be delivered to Maoist central committee members, IG Kadam said.

Some pen drives and hard discs from Saibaba’s personal computer were confiscated by the officers when they questioned the professor at his Delhi home in August. This was followed by a search of the house in September. The People’s Union of Civil Liberties had called the raids “illegal” and termed the action “harassment” meant to muzzle dissent.

Saibaba is currently vice-president of the Revolutionary Democratic Front of India, an umbrella of many rights groups. But the police claim that the professor uses different pseudonyms to co-ordinate with the frontal organisations of the Maoists