Dr. Binayak Sen. – When Silence speaks…….

May 27, 2009 at 7:20 PM Leave a comment

Introduction

 

Every one of us at some point in our life is either a part or victim of unlawful practice or justice; most of us choose to take a backseat owing to the gravity of the situation or for our convenience. But still there are some of us who try to change the way the things function in the society. For more than once even I have gone against my conviction for which I am still ashamed of.

 

Dr%20Binayak%20SenDr. Binayak Sen, a pediatrician and a public health specialist, he is also a national vice president of People’s Union for civil liberties. He is different from all of us he believes in bringing about social reform. But before we begin to discuss about him let us go through his credentials.

 

Dr. Binayak Sen:

1) The first Asian and the tenth annual award winner of Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights in 2008.

2) Recipient of Paul Harrison award of 2004 for a lifetime of service to the rural poor awarded by the Christian Medical College in Vellore, India.

3) R.R. Keithan Gold Medal was awarded to Dr. Binayak by Indian Academy of Social Sciences (ISSA) on 31 December 2007 for his outstanding contribution to the advancement of science of Nature-Man-Society and his honest and sincere application for the improvement of quality of life of the poor, the downtrodden and the oppressed people of Chhattisgarh.

4) Apart form his professional qualification he can also be addressed as a philanthropist for his role in setting up Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha’s Shaheed Hospital, besides Dr. Sen along with his wife Ilina Sen is also the founder of “Rupantar” a non-governmental organization which trains and monitors the activities of community health workers. Frontline activities of this NGO (Non governmental organization) include campaign against alcohol, curbing violence against women and to promote food security.

Dr Binayak Sen contribution towards the society is innumerable and his works has also attained him an international recognition as mentioned above. However on 14th May 2007; he was detained by the Chhattisgarh police under the provisions of Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2005 (CSPSA) and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967, it means arrest without any FIR(First Information Report) or Charge sheet, just on the grounds of suspicion Dr Sen has been detained for the past two years.

The Story

police-maoist-ambush-attack_6439Dr .Binayak Sen.’s arrest came to picture after he drew a nation wide attention over the killing of 12 innocent in a fake encounter of tribal people in Santoshpur, by a Chhattisgarh state government backed organization called “Salwa Judam”. Once the report of these mass killing was made public by media, The Director General of Police in Chhattisgarh ordered a police probe and the autopsy report also concluded that the victims were shot at close range on head and waist while some others were hacked to death. Even the police department stated “It’s certain that some police personnel crossed the limits and killed innocent villagers branding them as Maoist militants … Now the government has to decide whether the cops involved in killings should be arrested or not.”

 jail binayak

 “Salwa Judam” is an unorganized, informally raised organization which comprises of ordinary citizens and regular policemen to combat the naxal force in the state of Chhattisgarh. “Salwa Judam” just like any other people’s movement started to react to the naxal forces with combat supporting their cause was the state government who provided the members of “Salwa Judam” with arms and ammunition. But soon the Chhattisgarh state government started using “Salwa Judam” to fulfill their political ambitions against their rivals (just like a bank hiring recovery agents or a politician hiring goons during election). Soon “Salwa Judam” became a terror agent of the state; it started operating for its political bosses, time and again making mockery of human rights and violating the provisions of the law. It even went to the extent of silencing and targeting human rights workers of the state one such being Dr. Binayak Sen., who is the secretary of PUCL for the Chhattisgarh (People’s Union for Civil Liberties) and also the vice president of PUCL, India.

 

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Prior to this incident several complaints were made against “Salwa Judam” by human rights organization and other civic bodies to the Union government and in response to it several committees submitted their report of the evaluation of the state.

 

Supreme Court of India bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice Aftab Alam declared On 31 March 2008: “The allegation is that the state is arming private persons. You can deploy as many police personnel or armed forces to tackle the menace. But, if private persons, so armed by the state government, kill other persons, then the state is also liable to be prosecuted for abetting murder.”

 

The Report of an Expert Grsio binayak senoup to the Government of India’s Planning Commission stated on 1 May 2008 said: “Encouragement of vigilante groups such as Salwa Judum and herding of hapless tribals in make-shift camps with dismal living conditions, removed from their habitat and deprived of livelihood as a strategy to counter the influence of the radical left is not desirable. It delegitimizes politics, dehumanizes people, degenerates those engaged in their ‘security’, and above all represents abdication of the State itself. It should be undone immediately

But the Chhattisgarh Home Minister Ramvichar Netam in response to this incident made an inhumane statement that “The government will not arrest the policemen involved in the killings,”. However it was a well known fact that the entire state machinery was shaken by this incident, so they decided to punish Dr .Binayak Sen. by framing him on the chargers of absconding despite the well known fact that he was on a month long planned vacation with his family. Secondly after his arrest he was also charged for being a bridge of communication for a naxalite Narayan Sanyal, who is detained in Raipur Jail. And in order to see to it that Dr .Sen. does not get to do sentence easy they decided to take him to book him under Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2005 (CSPSA) and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967.

IMG_0265_1From the initial days of trial it was very clear Dr. Binayak Sen. was innocent, moreover there were sufficient evidence to prove that Dr. Sen.’s had made vacation plans with his family months ago. As for the meeting with naxalite Narayan Sanyal in Raipur jail is concerned it was permitted by Deputy Superintendent of police for medical examination and it took place under the supervision of jail authorities. However under the provisions of (CSPSA) and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 the government could detain any suspects to without any time no bound restrictions, or do they have to follow any conventional law proceeding or do they have any obligation to enshrine the convicts with their legal rights.

Since he was arrested under the provision of (CSPSA), Dr. Sen. was not even presented with FIR (First Information Report) or Charge-sheet against him.Since the court proceeding began on May 18, 2007, Dr. Sen. made several appearances at the court and simultaneously the police conducted as many raids in his home and also took possession of the hard-disk his computer, but the authorities couldn’t gather any evidence. They started questioning everyone in his friends and family circle However due to the special provisions under CSPSA, Dr Sen. was not released due to lack of evidence.

Dr .Sen. was nearing his 60th birthday and his health condition in the jail premises was worsening for more than once Dr Sen. was held in isolation in pretext of his own security concerns, by the jail authorities.

dsc03993All over the world a moment had begun several voluntary and civil rights organizations had taken the arrest of Dr. Sen. as an open violation of civil rights and liberties by Indian state of Chhattisgarh. Several campaigns had started pursuing the release of Dr. Sen.; the Chhattisgarh government faced major embarrassment for keeping a eminent personality of Human Rights in custody without any charges.

 

 Immediately after the arrest several organizations including Amnesty international gave a call to Chhattisgarh government for the immediate release of Dr. Binayak Sen., unless a recognized crime is charged against him.

 

 In Mangalore exactly after 2 years several associations united gathered a protest at the D.C’s office, On 14 May, 2009 and also dispatched a petition to her Excellency the President of India for immediate release Dr. Binayak Sen.

 

Finally on 25th may, 2009, the Supreme Court despite the accusation made by the prosecution all over the years decided to grant bail to Dr. Binayak Sen.They did not even allow senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi, to even justify as to why the prosecution feel that the person in question should not be granted bail.

 

Many of us might have witnessed several of such cases in which people have been falsely accused of and yet they are made to pay for it. Please correct me if I am wrong but Indian jails have witnessed several unlawful arrest and detention against what they are actually built for right from the Indian freedom movement and post independence. I have quoted this incident as all of us might have heard of this case. In-spite of calling ourselves civilized and showing it in our constitution such incidents occur every now and again just to remind us perhaps of much we are vulnerable to the system called society which we have created ourselves. Today the state can go to any extent to silence a voice of the people who have brought them to power, I have addressed this particular issue and I won’t be a bit surprised if for the very next moment I thrown in jail.

As a conclusion I would love to thank all the people who have quit being a silent spectator of society and have realized that even they are a part of it too.

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