Don’t feel safe in Chhattisgarh any more: Illina Sen

Monday, January 3, 2011

NEW DELHI - A day before her husbands birthday, the wife of jailed rights activist Binayak Sen Monday pledged to fight for his freedom but said she was worried over her and daughters’ safety in Chhattisgarh.

Addressing a crowded press conference here, Illina Sen said: I have been in complete shock. I have been sitting through the trials, heard the cross examinations and helped prepare the defence.

None of the allegations made three years ago against Binayak have been proved, one may as well not have had the trial, she said.

This was the first formal press conference of Illina Sen after a Raipur court Dec 24 sentenced Binayak Sen to life imprisonment for sedition and links with Maoists.

I am now really worried about my safety and that of my daughters who are 25 and 20 years of age. The thing is, I have made Chhattisgarh my home for the past 30 years but if I dont feel safe there any more. Then I might as well take political asylum in some other country, she said.

Lawyer Prashant Bhushan said the very nature of the judgment was absurd and that the mindset of the judge was “fascist.

The main charge against Binayak was that he carried letters from Maoist ideologue Narayan Sanyal to some of his colleagues outside jail. Now the charge of sedition is very serious. Sedition means inciting some form of violence. But the content of those letters did not contain any conspiracy of any act of violence, Bhushan said.

Those were routine letters about routine activities of the party. There is no evidence to back up the charge. Its a fascist mindset on the part of the judge because there has been a complete disregard of all evidence under law, he added.

Calling for judicial accountability, Bhushan said the draconian provisions under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act needed to be debated.

Illina Sen said she will approach the high court but added that her faith in the Indian judiciary has been shaken.

My faith in the judiciary has been shaken. I hope to see Binayak free some day, but if the state has its way, I will only get to see his dead body out of the jail. All because we opposed policies like Salwa Judum, everyone colluded against us, she said.

Bhushan said: The high court should take suo motu cognizance of this judgement.

Writer-activist Arundhati Roy was also present at the press meet.

Filed under: Terrorism

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