The CPI(M) on Wednesday said the life sentence awarded to rights activist Binayak Sen, convicted by a court in Raipur for sedition, was “a grave miscarriage of justice”.

“The evidence presented at the trial by the prosecution was so flimsy and concocted that it is surprising that such a judicial verdict has been given,” party general secretary Prakash Karat said. He said the verdict also pointed to the dangers of having “draconian” laws like the Chhattisgarh Special Public Safety Act and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and added that CPI (M) had opposed these provisions and had warned of their misuse.

He said Binayak Sen's case “needs to be reviewed by the higher judiciary expeditiously.”

“The travesty of justice perpetrated by the trial needs to be corrected.”

Mr. Karat also charged the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Chhattisgarh with “trampling upon the democratic rights” of the people in the name of fighting Maoists.

“The State government had promoted the Salwa Judum which led to one lakh adivasis being uprooted from their homes and herded into camps. Some of the media which highlighted the excesses in the State were threatened,” he said.

The CPI(M) leader attacked the Maoists for resorting to large scale violence, and said they need to be politically fought. “The Maoists perpetrating violence must be tried by law. But the BJP government and the police cannot be given the licence to violate human rights.”

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