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Binayak accuses C'garh govt of exercising violence on adivasis

Civil rights activist Binayak Sen has accused the Chhattisgarh government of "exercising structured violence" on poor adivasis to transfer their land to industries.

kolkata Updated: May 31, 2009 12:19 IST

Civil rights activist Binayak Sen, who walked free from the Raipur jail after two years of incarceration on May 26, has accused the Chhattisgarh government of "exercising structured violence" on poor adivasis to transfer their land to industries.

"The Chhattisgarh government has become guarantor of the transfer of the state's mineral and forest resources from the poor to the rich," he said in during an interaction with the media persons here yesterday.

Citing an example, Sen, who was in jail for allegedly colluding with Maoists, said a company had wanted to acquire land in Chhattisgarh for a steel plant.

"The government, instead of calling a gram sabha to ascertain the views of the land owners about the acquisition, imposed section 144 CrPc and compelled the adivasis to agree at gunpoint to give away their land."

"Most of the government's claims of encounter deaths were false," Sen said, adding that "all people have to get together and de-ligitimise this military option and influence the government so that political engagement takes place. Human rights organisations will have to take a lead on this."

Sen said he often faced the question that he was not as contemptuous of Maoist violence as he was of police action on them.

"As human rights workers, we condemn all kinds of violence. We have all along condemned violence irrespective of who does it," he said.

Sen said the mass support he received was a sign that ordinary people were fed up with the manner in which their resources were being transferred.

He also alleged that there was a threat to his life from the Chhattisgarh government. "I have some friends in police department, not in Chhattisgarh, but in other states, who have told me that there is a specific threat to my life from the Chhattisgarh government," he told PTI.

Denying any links with the Maoists, the human rights activist said, "I am a human rights worker. I have no link with any political organisation."

He said though he had been booked by the government under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act among others, Supreme court had freed him as it had found no evidence to substantiate the charges.

Sen, who was here to see his mother, said he was suffering from cardiac problems and his immediate priority was to get medical treatment.

First Published: May 31, 2009 12:17 IST