Sign to release Dr Binayak Sen

26 December,2010 08:18 AM IST |   |  Varun Singh

Alleging conspiracy, activist Dr Binayak Sen's supporters have started an online petition to get him released from jail

Alleging conspiracy, activist Dr Binayak Sen's supporters have started an online petition to get him released from jail

The decision to award life imprisonment to Dr Binayak Sen on charges of sedition has sparked an outcry amongst his supporters. On Friday, when the sessions court of Raipur announced that Sen, along with two others would serve a life term in jail, a group of people led by Kamayani Mahabal started an online petition called Free Dr Binayak Sen Campaign. The petition, which reads 'Indian Justice Has Failed Dr Binayak Sen'u00a0 has already been signed by more than 2,200 members and will finally be sent to the President.

Dr Binayak Sen, a pediatrician who has provided healthcare to the people in Naxal-hit belts in Chhattisgarh, has also gained a reputation as a human rights activist .

He reported on state excesses and Salwa Judum, a private militia widely held to be sponsored by the state authorities to fight armed Maoists. He was first detained without proper charges for seven months, denied bail, and kept in solitary confinement for three weeks on charges of supporting the outlawed Naxals.

Sen's supporters who have worked with him to give the people of Naxal-affected areas a better life, claim that this will only spur them on.

"We are against violence in any form, whether it comes from the state or the Naxals. But the moment we criticise state-sponsored violence, we are called pro-Naxals. The government wants us to keep mum, but that won't happen," said Mahabal. "Now we will work with more gusto. Government ki waat laga denge," added the Mumbai-based advocate.

Himanshu Kumar, a Gandhian who has worked in the Naxal affected Dantewada and Bastar areas of Chattisgarh is clear that the judgement handed out to Dr Sen is pure injustice.

"These acts won't stop us. They only make us more powerful and determined. The state wants to put people like us behind bars just because we speak against the government.

This government is not for the poor. It's made by the rich and is pro-rich. No matter what happens we will work for the betterment of the aam aadmi, caught in the middle of the war between the Naxals and the government," he said.

Kumar, who has been working in Bastar and was forced to leave the place and shift to Delhi after his ashram was demolished, now fears that the Chattisgarh police will arrest him too. He said, "I used to run a government scheme there and people were benefitting from it.

Now, 8 months after I left the place and shifted to Delhi, I get a call for the submission of my financial records. I had given them an audited sheet and had requested them to collect the records from me when I was in Bastar. But they never paid heed to my calls. Since then, the room where I had records has been occupied by the police and other officials. Now I have no records with me to give them.

The latest I heard is that they are planning to register an FIR against me and will send the police to pick me up from here," said Kumar.

Meanwhile, the Facebook page of the campaign carries a letter written by 81-year-old Anusuya Sen, mother of Dr Sen, where she demands justice for her son, who she claims has been fighting for the betterment of the common man.

Supporters of Sen also allege a conspiracy behind the judgment being passed on Friday. "The court holidays start from Saturday, so if anyone wanted to appeal against it, it would come up only in the first week of January," alleges Mahabal.

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Dr Binayak Sen online petition release request news Mumbai