Harassment Against Democratic Activists

On September 12 around 3pm, some 50 cops and members of the intelligence services raided the house of Dr. G.N. Saibaba, a renowned professor at Delhi University. Dr. Saibaba is also the joint secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), a mass organization that fights imperialist exploitation, the wealthy sellouts and feudalism in India.

For more than three hours, the cops raided and ransacked his quarters. They locked the gate to his home from the inside so that no one could come into the house. They tried to harass and intimidate Dr. Saibaba, his life partner, and teenage daughter who were also present. Dr. Saibaba was prohibited from communicating with his lawyer or the Delhi University’s Teacher Association (DUTA), of which he is a member. As it is often the case in India, his home is located on campus and is provided by the University.

According to the search warrant that the police presented him, after he had to repeatedly insist to see it, the police were searching for “stolen property.” In practice however, the cops were more interested in his personal library and documents related to his political activism. In the end, they seized his personal computer, laptop, hard drives, cell phones and SIM cards, books, along with magazines and material from the RDF. The police only left after a crowd of DUTA members gathered outside Dr. Saibaba’s home.

This shocking raid is part of a wave of harassment and repression against urban activists who oppose the war waged by the Indian state against the tribals and poor peasants in various areas of the country. It happens after the arbitrary arrests of many activists like students Jayeeta Das and Hem Mishra and even a journalist, Prashant Rahi. All have been accused of being members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). Worse, goons killed the Vice-President of the RDF, Ganti Prasadam, last July, while he was going to attend a public political meeting.

Professor Saibaba is being targeted because of his efforts to make the situation experienced by tribals, workers and peasants in India, known domestically and internationally by way of the International Campaign Against the War on the People of India (ICAWPI) which is currently going on.For more information on this campaign: www.icawpi.org (in Canada: icawpitoronto.wordpress.com).