Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Binayak Sen freed, vows to work for peace in Chhattisgarh

2009-05-26 21:00:00
Raipur, May 26 (IANS) A day after the Supreme Court granted him bail, noted human rights activist Binayak Sen walked out of jail Tuesday evening after a more than two-year-long confinement, amid jubilation by dozens of rights activists.
Emerging out of Raipur central jail, Sen, whose wife Ilina was by his side, asserted that his struggle for peace would continue and he condemned all violence in the state.
'I will continue to fight and struggle for peace, any sort of violence whether it is by the military or by the Maoists, I condemn. I will try to resolve the conflict through political engagement, military engagement is not a solution,' he told reporters.
Sen also called for 'Salwa Judum', the state government-backed civil militia movement, to be scrapped.
'My effort for restoration of peace will continue, I will continue to work for the people in the state,' he added.
Asked how he felt after his release, the rights activist said: 'I take this opportunity to remember thousands of people who are languishing in jail in many states after being detained under draconian and black laws like the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act. I am not alone. There are many others in several states. I am with them.'
Sen was released after depositing Rs.100,000 in court as a personal bond as decided by the local court where the order copy of the apex court was presented.
An award-winning paediatrician and a civil rights activist, Sen, 59, was jailed May 14, 2007 for his alleged links with Maoist guerrillas, a charge he, his family and friends vehemently deny.
The national vice-president of the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), he was held at the state's Bilaspur town May 14, 2007 under the stringent Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act and lodged at the Raipur central jail.
A relieved-looking Ilina Sen, her two daughters and other family members besides dozens of activists including Rajendra K. Sail, president of the Chhattisgarh PUCL and representatives of various non-government organisations hugged Sen when he came out of the jail and shouted slogans in his support.
'This is one of the happiest days of my life, my personal ordeal is over. The decision to grant bail to Sen has bolstered the faith of people in the judiciary and the country's system,' Ilina told reporters.

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