New Delhi, April 15 : The news that Dr. Binayak Sen has been granted bail by the Supreme Court and sedition charges dropped has brought cheers to many of us who have campaigned for his release all this while across the world. NAPM welcomes this and hope the case would be finally quashed since from beginning, as established, the case has too many loop holes. It has only been due to the persistence of the Chattisgarh government that Dr. Sen has been kept in jail all this long.
Dr. Sen had filed a petition in the Chhattisgarh high court on January 6, challenging a district and sessions court order that had convicted him, on December 24 last year, on various charges, including sedition, and had sentenced him to life imprisonment. Dr. Sen was arrested in Chhattisgarh in 2007 and was granted bail two years later by Supreme Court.
Supreme Court by its order has restored the faith in the due process of law for many in this country once again. The observation by the Court that mere possession of Naxal literature does not make a person a Naxalite, guilty of sedition, as one who possesses Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography can not call himself a Gandhian, hopefully will provide relief to many of the human rights activists, journalists, adivasis and others lodged in different jails across the country under UAPA, CSPSA, MCOCA and other draconian acts.
We do hope that this will also deter Chattisgarh government from further mobilising attacks on the journalists and rights activists who have tried to reach out to the adivasis in Bastar and Dantewada and not brand them as ‘Maoists’ and stop perpetrating violence on dalits and adivasis in the name of Operation Green Hunt.
Release of Dr. Binayak Sen will give a boost to our struggle for defending the rights of the political prisoners and restoring justice and peace in Chattisgarh.
Aruna Roy, Medha Patkar, Sandeep Pandey, Ulka Mahajan, Gabriele Dietrich, Sister Celia, Akhil Gogoi, Ramakrishna Raju, Maj. Gen (Retd) Sudhir Vombatkere, Roma, Prafulla Samantara, Anand Mazgaonkar, Suniti S R, Arundhati Dhuru, Rajendra Ravi, Bhupendera Singh Rawat, Mukta Srivastava, Madhuresh Kumar