NEW DELHI, March 9 (Xinhua) -- A local court in western Indian state of Maharashtra has sentenced to life a wheelchair-bound academic and four others for having links with Naxals.
The disabled English professor of Delhi University Professor G N Saibaba, a paraplegic patient, was arrested in May 2014, but later released on bail on orders of India's Supreme Court last year on grounds of failing health.
"All the five were sentenced for life under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for hatching criminal conspiracy and waging war against the nation," an official said.
"The judge on Tuesday described the physically handicapped professor as mentally fit and think tank of banned political organisation."
The family of the academic said they were planning to file an appeal against the verdict.
"Our advocates will move to the (Bombay) high Court against the verdict," the media quoted Saibaba's wife Vasanta as having said in a press statement.
Naxalites are also known as "Maoists." The maoists rebels say they are fighting for the rights of tribal people and rural poor.
Professor Saibaba had visited tribal areas and prominently campaigned against the activities of the Indian military- and government-backed, anti-Maoist militia.
Maoist insurgency has its genesis in the violent left-wing rebellion that began in 1967 at village Naxalbari in Indian state of West Bengal.
Currently Maoists are active in more than a third of India's 600-odd districts across central and eastern India.