Freedom Under Fire: GN Saibaba Says Denied Medical Treatment in Jail; SC Pulls Up Haryana, Gujarat on Drought

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A round-up of news, both bad and good, on the rights front from India.

GN Saibaba. Credit: PTI

GN Saibaba. Credit: PTI

Denied medical treatment in jail, says GN Saibaba

According to an Indian Express report, Delhi University professor GN Saibaba, who was released on bail Thursday, said he had not received any medical treatment during his time in Nagpur Central Prison. The 90% disabled and wheelchair-bound professor, arrested for alleged Maoist links, was granted bail earlier this week by the Supreme Court. He also said he was not allowed to meet his lawyer or his wife.

SC on drought condition in Haryana, Gujarat: ‘People are dying, this is not a picnic’

Hearing a PIL filed by the NGO Swaraj Abhiyan, the bench of Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice NV Ramana took to task the governments of Haryana and Gujarat for their non-seriousness on the drought in the states, an Indian Express report says.

The bench came down heavily on the Gujarat and Haryana governments for filing shoddy statistics on the drought-hit areas. “Why have you filed all this? You found these papers in your office and filed them here? Is this seriousness that you show on this issue? People are dying. This is not some picnic you are having in Haryana,” the court said. In addition, the court hauled up the governments on waiting till April to declare a drought when the condition was clear in September, to which the government responded that local polls had delayed the declaration. “Will all work stop if there are elections?” responded the bench.

Under fire for cutting food subsidy to APL families, Maharashtra government considers reviving it

After coming to power in Maharashtra, the BJP government had discontinued supply of subsidised food grains to 1.77 crore people in the Above Poverty Line category, who were earlier covered under the Public Distribution System. However, on facing criticism for this decision, the government said on Thursday that it may restart the provision, Indian Express reported.

Accident victims in Maharashtra may get free treatment for 3 days at private hospitals

Road accident victims could soon get free treatment at 488 private hospitals, as the state is considering a scheme similar to the present one in Tamil Nadu, the Hindustan Times reported. The government said the scheme is intended for reducing accident fatalities.

VHP asks government to spell out policy on ‘anti-national’ activities after NIT Srinagar incidents

After trouble at NIT in Srinagar, VHP on Thursday asked the Modi government to make its policy on curbing anti-India activities in Kashmir clear, the Indian Express reported. The organization also asked for a stand on the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits and repeal of Article 370 that grants special status to the state.

VHP leader alleged that outstation students at NIT had been “humiliated” by “local jihadi students” and their supporters after India lost in the T20 World Cup Semi-Final on March 31, and demanded the arrest of those involved.

Do you know of any other incident we should highlight in this column? Write to me at [email protected].

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