Gadchiroli District Court on Tuesday 7 March 2017 sentenced Delhi University’s professor G N Saibaba and four others (Hem Mishra, Prashant Rahi, Mahesh Tirki and Pandu Narote) to life imprisonment under various sections of The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the IPC for aiding and abetting Naxal activities. A sixth convict ( Vijay Tirki) was handed 10 years of rigorous imprisonment. All were convicted under Sections 13, 18, 20, 38 and 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act along with Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.
Principal District and Sessions Judge S S Shinde said, “Merely because Saibaba is 90 % disabled is no ground to show him leniency. He is physically handicapped but he is mentally fit, a thinktank and a high-profile leader of banned organisations.” Court further said that, “Several people had been killed and public property has been destroyed in the Maoist violence in Gadchiroli. Because of Naxal movement and violent activities. The position of Gadchiroli district is same as it was in the year 1982 and for that all accused, who are members of the banned organisations, are responsible, and all the six accused belong to banned organisations CPI (Maoist) and Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), which is a Maoist front”.
Saibaba’s wife Mrs. Vasantha after the judgement said that, she was shocked. Defence lawyer Surendra Gadling said they would “move against it in the High Court.”