“CCTV camera captures footage of toilet”: GN Saibaba threatens hunger strike in jail

Former Delhi University English professor GN Saibaba, convicted of Maoist links, has threatened to go on an indefinite hunger strike till death to protest the installation of CCTV cameras just outside his Anda cell of Nagpur central jail.

Saibaba alleged that the cameras capture footage of his bathroom seat and bathing place “thus compromising his privacy” — the Times of India reported.

Saibaba’s wife Vasantha Kumari and brother G Ramadevudu wrote to the Maharashtra Home Minister on Saturday seeking the removal of the CCTV camera.

“On Tuesday (10.05.2022), the jail authorities fixed a wide-angle CCTV camera in front of his Anda cell that can capture video of the entire cell including, the toilet seat, bathing place, and everything in the small cell. So, he cannot use the toilet for urinals or cannot even take a bath before the camera, as the camera records video of everything 24×7 hours. Now how can Dr G N Saibaba live in these circumstances?” reads the letter.

Saibaba, they added, already suffers from various ailments including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (heart issue), hypertension, paraplegia, kyphoscoliosis of the spine, anterior horn cell disease, acute pancreatitis as well as a cyst in the brain, Indian Express reported.

Saibaba is 90% physically challenged.

Jail authorities have refuted the allegations stating the CCTV cameras outside the Anda cell were upgraded to monitor Saibaba’s condition in a better way and ensure his well-being.

Saibaba was sentenced to life imprisonment in March 2017 after being found guilty of helping CPI-Maoist, a banned outfit. Arrested in 2014, the former DU professor was convicted under sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

“Dr G N Saibaba is planning to start his hunger strike within two days in the Nagpur Central Jail,” the letter said.

Saibaba’s family has once again reiterated their demand of shifting the ailing professor to Hyderabad prison as per the transfer laws.

“We, request your kind self to take immediate action and provide him privacy, and dignity and instruct the persons concerned in the Nagpur Central Jail to remove CCTV cameras that are keeping his privacy at stake and provide him required proper diagnosis and treatment for all his health issues immediately. As per his eligibility, grant parole and enable him to get proper medication and required medical support which is not available at Nagpur,” they added.