Hours after Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba was sentenced on Tuesday to life imprisonment for "Maoist connections", his wife expressed her shock and accused the central government of following RSS agenda in pressurising the judiciary for a favourable outcome.
"This judgement is shocking. In the history of Maharashtra this is the first case in which all the persons chargesheeted were convicted in all the sections with life imprisonment," Vasanta Kumari said in a statement.
"No evidence has been proved by the prosecution... electronic evidence were not sealed. It seems the state and Central governments have put a lot of pressure on the judiciary to implement anti-people and undemocratic policies at the behest of corporates and MNCs," she said.
Vasanta Kumari said that she will fight for her husband's freedom in the higher courts and urged the civil society members to condemn the "undemocratic character of the government".
"Honouring the court, Saibaba has been attending it in all these years including today, despite his deteriorating health. As a wife I will fight in the higher courts to seek justice.
"The government has been putting relentless pressure on my family for the last four years by raiding my house in Delhi. I appeal to democracy champions, peoples' organisations, intellectuals, students to condemn such undemocratic character of the government," she said.
Vasanta Kumari noted that after the verdict was announced, the pleas advocating cooperative behaviour towards Saibaba - who is wheelchair-bound and 90 per cent disabled - were also rejected by the judge.
"Judge rejected to issue any order on the appeal of our advocate... (who) asked him to issue an order directing the jail authorities to give required medicines, help of assistants for Saibaba's movement, operation to be performed for gall bladder etc," she added.
A sessions court in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli sentenced the suspended Ram Lal Anand College professor for having connections with banned Communist Party of India-Maoist and its "front" Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF). He was convicted, among other charges, for hatching a "criminal conspiracy to wage war" against the nation.
Apart from him, a total of five other persons, including a Jawaharlal University student, were also convicted.
Saibaba was arrested in 2014 by Maharashtra Police but later granted bail on health grounds.