Delhi

Protest against Binayak’s conviction

Prashant Bhushan, Lawyer Supreme Court addressing the gathering during the protest against conviction of Dr. Binayak Sen at Delhi University in New Delhi on Wednesday. Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

A convention against State repression -- “Voices of the University Community” -- organised by the All-India Students Association (AISA) at the Arts Faculty of Delhi University on Wednesday demanded release of eminent doctor and human rights activist Binayak Sen.

A number of academics also joined the protest in which AISA activists from Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia and Jawaharlal Nehru University participated. Inaugurating the convention, advocate Prashant Bhushan said Dr. Sen came under the Chhattisgarh Government’s scanner for raising human rights violations and mass displacement of Adivasis by Salwa Judum.

The advocate alleged that the sedition charge under which Dr. Sen has been imprisoned is being used to muffle all kinds of opposition against the Government. He said the sentence against Dr. Sen was pronounced despite a clear Supreme Court ruling that sedition can be charged only when a person is inciting violence or public disorder. Otherwise it becomes an infringement on the freedom of speech and expression, said Mr. Bhushan citing the apex court judgment.

Historian Harbans Mukhia said that Dr. Sen’s “sin” in the eyes of the law was that he highlighted the exploitation and deprivation of people. DU Urdu Department Professor Ali Javed said it was the responsibility of educated persons and university students to educate the masses on the injustice done to Dr. Binayak Sen and other human rights activists who have been wrongly jailed.

Delhi University Sociology Department Professor Nandini Sundar said the movement for release of Dr. Sen should expand to demand the release of hundreds of activists who have been jailed in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa on trumped up charges. She said several activists like Kartam Joga, who showed courage and compassion to help the displaced Adivasis fight for their rights, were now languishing in jail.

Others who spoke at the convention include JNU Hindi Department Professor Vir Bharat Talwar, DU Hindi Department Professor Apoorvanand, Professor Neeraj Malik of IP College, Professor Shamsil Islam and All India Central Council of Trade Unions general secretary Swapan Mukherjee and AISA national general secretary Ravi Rai.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 6:36:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/Protest-against-Binayakrsquos-conviction/article15524674.ece

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