Binayak Sen is free but fears for his life | india | Hindustan Times
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Binayak Sen is free but fears for his life

india Updated: May 27, 2009 01:11 IST
Ejaz Kaiser
Ejaz Kaiser
Hindustan Times
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Civil rights activist Dr Binayak Sen came out of Raipur Central Jail after a two-year stay on Tuesday evening, a day after the Supreme Court granted him bail.

A certified copy of the bail order from the Supreme Court was produced before the trial court here on Tuesday, following which the directive to release the jailed doctor on personal bond of Rs 1 lakh was issued.

He was received at the jail gate by his wife Ilina, two daughters, brother Dipanker Sen and a large contingent of supporters and activists of the Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL). Sen, a paediatrician by profession, is also the PUCL’s national vice president.

Amid slogan shouting and emotional scenes, Sen calmly declared that there was a threat to his life from the Chhattisgarh government. But he added, “I would not like to divulge more on this.”

He reiterated his opposition to any violence perpetrated either by the state government or by the Naxalites, declaring that his mission against the controversial Salwa Judum movement would continue.

Salwa Judum, or Peace March, is an anti-Naxalite movement started in Chhattisgarh in 2005 as a civilian movement among the tribals of the region and later evolved into a counter-insurgency militia.

“The Salwa Judum campaign led to immense sufferings among the poor tribesmen. Peace must replace the war-like situation,” Sen asserted, adding that the protests against the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act would be now be more forceful.

Sen was arrested by the state police two years ago for his alleged links with the Maoists and was charged under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967.

On the allegation that he was a Naxalite sympathiser, Sen retorted, “I am a human rights activist and will not hesitate to speak wherever violence occurs or rights violated.”

PUCL Chhattisgarh state president Rajendra Sail said Sen was suffering from heart ailment, hypertension and arthritis and would go to his alma mater Christian Medical College in Vellore for treatment.