By Laura Byron
Last week, a poster appeared on Charlotte’s westside calling for the release of Indian political prisoner GN Saibaba. The poster read, “Freedom for GN Saibaba, Shining Hero of the People’s War in India, Revolution is not a crime!”
The call follows a similar display seen in Los Angeles, California in weeks prior calling for freedom for all political prisoners and identifying Saibaba specifically as a target of political repression in India.
Saibaba is currently serving a life sentence in solitary confinement for his role as Deputy Secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), and its alleged links to the illegal Communist Party of India (Maoist). In an interview published in 2010 with the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto, Saibaba described the RDF as:
“A federation of revolutionary people’s organizations like workers, peasants, youth, students, women and revolutionary cultural organizations across India in 13 states. In most states, its members and main functionaries are arrested and incarcerated. Hundreds of its functionaries either suffer in prisons or work in different forms. But it still works among the people vigorously. Its members are being branded as having links with CPI (Maoist) just because it also believes in revolutionary transformation of Indian Society. But then an overwhelming majority of the Subcontinent does so.
Presently our organization is involved in mobilizing democratic voices against a major military offensive that the Government of India has initiated on the indigenous people of the country, called the Operation Green Hunt.”