On December 24, 2010 Dr. Binayak Sen was convicted by a Raipur Sessions Court on charges of "sedition" and "waging war against the Indian state" and sentenced to life imprisonment. He has been charged under various sections of the IPC, the Chhattisgarh Special Public Safety Act and the UAPA.
His conviction has been roundly condemned by human rights activists, political and social activists, intellectuals, workers and all freedom loving people, who have come out in hundreds, in Delhi, Raipur and other parts of the country to voice their protest, to demand justice and repeal of these fascist laws.
It may be recalled that Dr. Binayak Sen, a renowned doctor and human rights activist, who had been working among the tribals in Chhattisgarh, had earlier been arrested on May 14, 2007 on the flimsy and trumped up charge of ‘acting as a courier for a jailed Maoist’. Following two years of continuous popular protests in India and all over the world and numerous petitions to the Central and State governments, the Supreme Court granted bail to Dr. Binayak Sen, on May 25, 2009. So far, the state has not been able to prove any of its charges against Dr. Binayak Sen. Clearly Dr. Sen has been targeted because of his beliefs — his consistent opposition to the criminal activities of the state sponsored Salwa Judum and his exposure of the Chattisgarh government’s role in attacking the livelihood of tribals in order to satisfy the rapacious greed of the big mining monopolies.
The conviction of Dr. Binayak Sen once again reveals that the Indian state consistently works in the interests of the biggest monopoly capitalists and against the interests of the masses of people. It is yet another example of how the Indian state uses fascist laws and repression against those who raise their voice for justice. It shows that the Indian state holds the right to conscience of people in such utter contempt that it will stop at nothing, including incarceration and even murder of people for merely holding views different from those of the rulers and challenging the brutal exploitation of the poor under this system. All across the country, tens of thousands of political and social activists, as well as ordinary people fighting for their rights, have been arrested and tortured under various fascist laws by which the Indian state legitimises state terrorism. This is apart from the tens of thousands who have been killed in the state repression unleashed against the people in the name of putting down "terrorism", "extremism", "threat to national unity and territorial integrity” and so on.
The fact that the Supreme Court continues to uphold these fascist laws is a pointer to the reality that the judicial system in our country is a part of the instrument of state terror and repression, to crush the struggle of people for justice and rights. It is a grim reminder of the urgent need to dismantle the system of state terror, the system of oppression and exploitation, in order to secure human rights, justice and dignity for the toiling people.
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