Statement on the Binayak Sen Judgement

Sanhati

We are deeply anguished by the convictions and sentences of Dr. Binayak Sen, Piyush Guha, and Narayan Sanyal by the additional district and sessions judge of Raipur for sedition. We also note that in a separate case, Asit Sengupta was convicted and sentenced to eight years imprisonment for his work as magazine editor and publisher. Sanhati strongly condemns their convictions and sentences.

Convicting Dr. Sen of sedition and treason against the country, when he has devoted his life to service for the poorest citizens of India, yet again illustrates the disdain of the state towards its citizens and democracy. The real crime of Dr. Sen in the eyes of the government has been his protest against the state-sponsored vigilante force of Salwa Judum, and his efforts to bring to light the atrocities committed by this vigilante army on the indigeneous population of Chattisgarh. The state has attempted to make an example of Dr. Sen to all dissenting against its policies or protesting repression. Nevertheless, the state will fail in its attempt to create a fear psychosis among political and social activists; its efforts will only lead to the strengthening of resistance against state repression.

The charge made out by the prosecution against Dr. Sen was that he was responsible for passing letters from Narayan Sanyal lodged to Piyush Guha. Examination of witnesses and evidence presented by the defence demonstrated that the meetings in prison between Dr. Sen and Narayan Sanyal, the jailed Maoist leader, followed all legal norms and were based on the capacity of Dr. Sen as a physician and a human rights activist. When the accusations against Dr. Sen could not be supported by evidence in court, the government brought up other trumped-up charges and falsified evidence, much of which was glaring in its absurdity. That the court chose to overlook all this, has exposed the nature of our judicial system to the entire world.

It is necessary at this juncture to also mention that numerous undertrial political and social activists are today incarcerated in various prisons in India or languishing in jail for prolonged periods without trial, charged under various draconian state or central laws. These laws, and various draconian provisions of the criminal penal code, are being used to clamp down upon resistance movements against various anti-people policies pursued by the Indian state. The charges against Dr. Binayak Sen, and the travesty of justice in the name of his trial, have brought this hard truth to the fore.

We strongly condemn the convictions and sentences against Binayak Sen, Piyush Guha, Narayan Sanyal, and Asit Sengupta. We demand that the injustice meted out to them in the name of dispensing justice be rectified immediately. We also demand that the state immediately stops the systematic usage of various draconian laws and charges of sedition against activists to silence all voices of dissent.

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  1. BUILD MASS MOVEMENT TO FREE Dr. BINAYAK SEN & HIS COMPANIONS

    (Press Statement by LOK MORCHA PUNJAB)

    Lok Morcha Punjab expresses strong resentment and dismay at the conviction & sentencing of Dr. Binayak Sen and two others to life imprisonment on the charges of sedition & conspiracy (S.124 (A) & 120-B IPC) S. 8-(1), (2), (3) and (5) of the Chhattisgarh Special Public Safety Act and S. 39 (2) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Dr. Binayak Sen has dedicated his entire life for the cause of the people especially tribals. In a country, where even the head of Medical Council of India, entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing ethical conduct by medical profession, is caught taking bribe and most of his fellow professionals are minting money bleeding the people white, Dr Sen choose to serve the poor and malnutritioned tribal children. He resolutely opposed the repression let loose on the adivasi people under the banner of Salwa Judam and fought for democratic rights of the people. The state has got him convicted on the basis of false evidence. The main allegation against him was of being a courier of imprisoned Naxalite leader Naryan Sanyal. Even the jail authorities did not support this allegation. The rules of evidence were shamelessly changed to secure his conviction. Instead of the police proving the charges against him beyond any reasonable doubt, as the established law is, the onus was put on him and his co-accused Narayan Sanyal & Piyush Guha to prove their innocence. It was not a fair and judicious trial. It was a traversity of justice. Dr. Binayak Sen & his companions have been convicted and sentenced, violating all cannons of justice and the principles laid down in criminal jurisprudence and International covenants.

    In this conspiracy, the BJP led Chattisgarh Govt and Congress-led Central Govt are equally involved. When the Home Ministry’s Notification, threatening the intellectuals and human rights activists to be punished under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, if they did not refrain from criticizing Operation Green Hunt, failed to have any visible impact, the State needed something more deterrent, more terrifying to silence them, to shock & awe them. Dr. Binayak Sen’s conviction is a sinister step in that direction. It is intended to be a warning to all those who espouse the cause of poor and oppressed tribals, who oppose imperialist plunder of India’s mineral wealth, who cherish human rights.

    To win freedom for Dr. Binayak Sen & his companions, a strong and wide-based mass movement of the toiling people, i.e. peasants, agricultural labour, industrial workers, poor people, democratic & nationalist forces is required. We cannot & should not rely on the Indian rulers and the anti-people judicial system. A strong mass movement will not only guarantee freedom for Dr. Binayak Sen & his companions, but will also deter the Indian rulers from framing up any other people’s leader in future. Lok Morcha Punjab shall strive hard, and calls upon all revolutionary & democratic forces to build such a mass movement.

    N.K.JEET President AMOLAK SINGH General Secretary

    LOK MORCHA PUNJAB

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