Civil rights activist Binayak Sen, 61, walked out of Raipur Central Jail on Monday evening straight into the arms of his daughters, Pranhita (26) and Aparajita (21), who almost jumped over him in delight. Wife Ilina (60) and mother Anasuya (84) rushed after to hug a visibly tired but smiling Sen, clad in his trademark kurta-pyjama.
Earlier in the day, the trial court was not satisfied with the documents submitted, as an authorising signature of a gazetted rank officer was missing, and though resolved later, it delayed the release warrant.
At around 7pm, when Sen was released, more than 100 well wishers and supporters, who had been thronging the jail premises all day carrying placards, erupted into loud cheers of ‘Long Live Binayak Sen’.
Immediately after his release, Sen said he was “very happy” to be out of jail after nearly four months, and would continue to work for tribals and the peace mission.
Sen, who is charged with having links with Maoists, denied that he was a sympathiser of any particular group. He said, “All have to work together for peace and justice, but the way the Chhattisgarh government is working there is no hope of restoring peace in the troubled areas”.
“The situation faced by my husband is sad, but it has strengthened our family bonds and solidarity with friends and well wishers,” said Ilina.
A beaming Anasuya could not control her tears when she saw her son walking free. She said she was happy when the Supreme Court granted him bail, but was elated to see her son being finally released.
Justice BP Verma of the trial court had imposed four conditions for Sen’s release on bail, after counsel Mahendra Dubey submitted to the court a copy of the Supreme Court order. Sen was to furnish a personal bond of Rs50,000 and an equal amount of surety, surrender his passport and visa, and personally appear whenever called for on a day fixed by the court.
Speaking against the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, Sen said “I don’t accept sedition charges against me. I have not betrayed the people of this country. There is a need to do away with the colonial law on sedition.”