Pandu Narote, UAPA accused in GN Saibaba case dies of swine flu

Published on Aug 26, 2022 12:30 AM IST

NAGPUR: Pandu Narote, arrested under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for Maoist links, died on Thursday at the government-run medical college in Nagpur after contracting swine flu

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ByPradip Kumar Maitra

NAGPUR: Pandu Narote, arrested under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for Maoist links, died on Thursday at the government-run medical college in Nagpur after contracting swine flu. He was 33.

Narote was arrested along with the Delhi University professor GN Saibaba, and three others after a district court in Gadchiroli sentenced them to undergo life-term under various sections of the UAPA and IPC for aiding and abetting Maoist activities in March 2017.

Narote was taken to the Nagpur GMCH on Tuesday after the jail authorities found that he was suffering from a high fever. However, he was not responding to the treatment and breathed his last on Thursday evening.

Saibaba’s wife Vasantha Kumari, who has been campaigning against the imprisonment of her husband and his co-accused, stated that Narote’s lawyer requested that he be shifted to the ICU ward but the plea went unheeded. “It is due to the negligence of jail authorities towards Narote to the extent that the family did not know about his health status, that this tragedy happened,” Vasantha said in a press release.

Narote was arrested by the Maharashtra police at Aheri in Gadchiroli district in August 2013 for his alleged role in the left-wing extremist movement in the tribal district. Subsequently, Gadchiroli police arrested Saibaba in May 2014 on charges of being a member of the banned CPI (Maoist), providing logistics and helping in recruitments for the group. Narote was in Nagpur central jail since 2013.

Narote’s death comes after the appeal against the imprisonment reached the high court, a process that took over five years, and is still being processed. “There is a rampant neglect of prisoners’ health in Nagpur central jail, that allows for such tragedies to happen,’ alleged Vasantha.

According to Vasantha, Saibaba is also reportedly facing several health issues in jail and falls frequently unconscious in his cell. He suffers from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (heart problem), hypertension, paraplegia, kyphoscoliosis of the spine, acute pancreatitis, and gall-bladder stones among other medical complications, she claimed and said that a CT scan report has also indicated a cyst in the brain.

Swati Sathe, the deputy inspector general of prison, Nagpur region, said that Narote was not well and was admitted to the medical college hospital on August 20 and died during treatment on Thursday evening. “We are waiting for the post-mortem report,” she further said.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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