Asia

Indian professor sentenced to life in prison for Maoist link

An Indian court has sentenced a university professor and four others to life imprisonment for belonging to a banned communist rebel group and recruiting others to join the group.

Judge S.S. Shinde found them guilty on Tuesday in Gadchiroli, a town in western Maharashtra state.

The professor, G.N. Saibaba, taught English at a New Delhi college. He was arrested in 2014 and accused of being a member of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

The Maoist rebels, who claim inspiration from Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting the Indian government for more than four decades, demanding land and jobs for tenant farmers and the poor.

The five can appeal the verdict.