National

Binayak Sen rally held in Raipur

On a day marked by rallies across the country, and in certain cities in North America and the United Kingdom to protest the life sentence handed down to paediatrician and rights activist Dr. Binayak Sen, about 700 people convened in the town of his residence in Raipur, Chhattisgarh to demand Dr. Sen's release.

The protest was organised by the People's Union of Civil Liberties (of which Dr. Sen was the Chhattisgarh Secretary at the time of his release), the Communist Party of India, Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha, the Adivasi Mahasabha and people's organisations like the Ekta Parishad, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan and the Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan. The date of the rally coincided with Shaheed Divas, the day Mohandas Gandhi was assassinated in 1948.

Protesters marched from the Railway Station to the designated protest spot at Burdha Talab in the heart of the city. Speakers brought attention to the arrest and sentencing of Dr Sen, who was convicted of committing sedition and supporting the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) and sentenced to life imprisonment on December 24 last year. Dr. Sen's bail petition is due for hearing on February 9 this year.

Speakers at the meeting demanded that the government stop targeting innocents in the name of fighting the Maoists and release of Kartam Joga and Koparam Kunjam. Mr. Joga was arrested last year on suspicions of participating in the Tarmetla ambush in which 76 troopers of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed by the CPI(Maoist). He is also a petitioner in a Supreme Court petition alleging that the state government was responsible for arming the controversial Salwa Judum programme. Social activist Koparam Kunjam has also been arrested on charges of aiding the Maoists.

Flyers distributed by protesters asked for the removal of the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act of 2005 and the colonial era sedition law, and stated that opposing the polices of the government was not the same as supporting the Maoists or committing sedition.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 4:35:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Binayak-Sen-rally-held-in-Raipur/article15539807.ece

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