Mumbai, February 19, 2021: The Committee for Defense and Release of Prof. G.N. Saibaba has sought his immediate release from the Nagpur Central Jail as he has tested positive for COVID-19 and has severe body pain and muscle spasm.
The Committee requested the Maharashtra Home Minister, as well as the jail authorities, to consider Prof. Saibaba’s case sympathetically and release him forthwith, or at least grant him parole immediately to enable him to get proper treatment.
The committee wanted the Political Prisoner to be admitted to a good COVID care hospital immediately. It called on the National Human Rights Commission to take note of his precarious situation.
Prof. Saibaba, a former professor of English at the Delhi University, tested positive for COVID-19 on February 13. He was sent back to anda cell (solitary confinement) at the Nagpur Central jail on February 16. The committee said he was currently suffering from cold, high fever, throat infection, body ache, joint pain, shortness of breath, severe headache, muscle spasms and other COVID-19 symptoms.
“Besides this, he has also been suffering from various other serious ailments, including a grave heart condition, hypertension, kidney stones, brain cyst, pancreatic problems, and attenuation of the shoulder and arm muscles and nerves resulting in partial paralysis, most of which he developed in jail,” said G. Haragopal, the committee’s convener.
“Given his many comorbidities, the COVID-19 infection may prove fatal. The specific heart condition is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy with left ventricular dysfunction, and as his oxygen levels drop further [as it happens with COVID-19], there will be an increased strain on the heart, increasing the chances of cardiac arrest.”
Prof. Saibaba has been lodged at the jail after being convicted of having links to the CPI (Maoist).