Saibaba denied woollen cap, other items in Nagpur jail: Lawyer

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(Eds: Recasting headline, intro) Nagpur, Dec 27 (PTI) The lawyer of former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, who is serving life term in Nagpur Central Prison for Maoist links, on Sunday alleged that the jail authorities refused to accept a woollen cap and several other items that his family sent for him.

A senior official of the jail, however, said that although they have accepted all the necessary things that Saibaba requires, they cannot allow everything inside.

Saibaba is wheelchair-bound with 90 per cent physical disabilities. In 2017, a court in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli had convicted him and four others for Maoist links and indulging in activities amounting to waging war against the country.

Since his conviction, Saibaba has been lodged in the Nagpur jail.

Talking to PTI, Saibaba's lawyer Aakash Sarode said that of the 34 different things that Saibaba wanted, the prison authorities accepted only 13 items when he went there three days back to hand them over.

'A month back, Prof Saibaba had consulted with the jail authorities about the essential things that he requires and which can be brought from outside. Subsequently, he made a list of the things and submitted an application to the jail authorities so that his family could send these articles,' Sarode said.

'Accordingly, his family sent these things to me. On December 24, I went to the jail with all the material along with the list of items. I tried to hand over these things to the authorities. However, the jail staff refused to accept several things, which neither pose any security threat nor pose any danger of COVID-19 spread,' he said.

Some of the things that the authorities refused to hand over to him were three books, a pack of 200 pages of blank white papers, a note pad, copy of 'India Today' magazine, a wrist weight cuff of 1 kg that he needs as part of his physiotherapy, the lawyer said.

'Similarly, a shampoo bottle, a woollen cap (monkey cap), a napkin, a handkerchief, a towel and a white T-shirt were refused by the jail authorities. In all, there were 34 items, but only 13 were accepted,' Sarode added.

He said he has e-mailed a letter to the Superintendent of the jail about refusal to accept these things.

'I am yet to receive a reply form him,' Sarode said.

When contacted, Superintendent of Nagpur prison Anup Kumre said that all the necessary things required by Saibaba or any other jail inmates were allowed and given to them as per the jail manual.

'We accept all the necessary things as well as things required as he (Saibaba) has health issues,' he said.

'We always accept the things which are necessary and are essential for him. However, we cannot allow everything inside,' Kumre added. PTI CLS NP NP