Posts Tagged ‘chattisgarh
This open letter by SHIV VISWANATHAN, Eminent Social Scientist, has been circulated by Communalism Combat:
Dear Professor Manmohan Singh,
I hope you don’t mind the temerity of this letter. It is written as one scholar to another, one citizen to another. I know you are a PM and people like me may not be influential. However some things must be said and said clearly.
I was against to find that Doctor Binayak Sen has been given a life term for sedition. Let me put it simply. I think it is an appalling act of injustice and a betrayal of an ethical vision.
The point I wish to make is simple. We do not have to agree with Binayak Sen, anymore than we have to agree with Mahaswta Devi or Arundhati Roy or Baba Amte. But these have been voices of conscience. These are people who have care and healed, given a voice to the voiceless. They represent the essential goodness of our society. They are Indians and outstanding Indians and no nation state can negate that. I admit that such people are not easy people. They irritate, they agonize over things we take for granted or ignore. They take the ethical to the very core of our lives. Let us be clear. It is not Sen’s ideology that threatens us. It is his ethics, his sense of goodness. We have arrested him because we have arrested that very sense of justice in ourselves.
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We have been listening and reading about Dr Sen’s court decision since the day it has been pronounced. But since the original decision is in Hindi and is 92 pages long, hence many would be possibly have got the opportunity to read and understand it. I hope, u appreciate the fact that the judgement can be fully appreciated only when one has gone through it in its totality.
Here is my attempt at presenting the basic and more important facts of the Court judgement in the much-discussed Dr Binayak Sen case (translating the Hindi version to the best of my abilities)., without giving any cooments on my behalf. This being a highly sensitive matter, I extend my apologies for any unintended error or misrepresentation.
Currently at IIM Lucknow
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By systematically persecuting Dr Binayak Sen, a tireless champion of human rights and the rights of adivasis and workers, the Indian state is sending a strong message to civil society about the price of not toeing the line.
Raja bola raat hai,
mantri bola raat hai,
court bola raat hai,
ye subah subah ki baat hai!
(The king said it was night. The minister said it was night. The court said it was night. It was early morning!)
On 24 Dec 2010, the District Court in Raipur in Chhattisgarh state of central India sentenced Dr Binayak Sen to life imprisonment. Given the flimsy nature of the evidence, to most it came as a shock; to the Indian state seeking to silence dissenting human rights activists and social workers, it was shot in the arm.
Targeting Dr Binayak Sen, a well-known civil rights and public health activist, has wide implications for democracy and civil rights in India. Dr. Sen is the National Vice President of the Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), one of the most respected civil liberties organizations in India founded by late Jaya Prakash Narayan during the 1975-77 internal Emergency, the worst era in the history of post-independence India. Dr Sen’s work in the area of public health is well known; in fact, he was a part of the group which set up the Mitanin rural health care system for Chhattisgarh twenty years ago when the state was still under formation. He is a man for whose bail, twenty two Nobel laureates had appealed. For whose release, the British House of Commons had issued a motion.
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Indian doctor Binayak Sen released from prison on bail
26 May 2009
Dr Binayak Sen, who spent two years in an Indian prison as a Prisoner of Conscience, was released on Tuesday after being granted bail by the Supreme Court.
Welcoming Dr Sen’s release on bail, Amnesty International believes that the charges against him are baseless and politically motivated. Amnesty International has repeated its call on the Indian authorities to immediately drop all the charges against Dr Sen.
Express News Service
Pune: After Binayak Sen, now it’s the Gandhian Vanvasi Chetna Ashram being attacked by the Chhattisgarh government, which literally bulldozed the ashram on May 17.
The city-based unit of Binayak Sen release committee has condemned the demolition of the Vanvasi Chetna Ashram (VCA).
The VCA led by the Gandhian Himanshu has been the voice of sanity and peace in Dantewada, and it consistently exposed the atrocities by Salwa Judum, while keeping a distance from the Maoists, said a statement issued here.
A staunch believer in non-violence, Himanshu exposed the fake encounters of 12 innocent adivasis, who were killed by the police on March 30, 2009 and filed a case in the Bilaspur High Court. The statement challenges the Chhattisgarh government and alleged that it did not want villagers to return to their villages, though it has been directed by the Supreme Court. It wants to use the deserted farmlands for corporate purpose.
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Congratulations for that thumping victory in the last parliament elections.
Congratulations again for your decision to opt out of ministerial posts and to concentrate on organizational works. Well wishers as well as sycophants would say that you should join the central cabinet only to gain experience in governance. Yes, like them, I too am sure that one day you are destined to become the Prime Minister of this country. As the Hindustan Times editorial said on the other day, it is in your genes. There is nothing wrong in it.
Don’t think about my identity and whereabouts. I am couple of years senior to you and looking forward to grow along with the political scenario that you have in a way facilitated in our country. Like many of my age, I am not euphoric about your victory. To be precise I am very curious about your future evolution as a politician; may be I should say, a social activist, that is a qualification that suits you well at this stage. When your activism is translated into policy matters, a lot is going to change in this country. I, as a writer, am curious about this aspect of translation.
I write this open letter to you on behalf of those thousands of people who raise their voices for the release of Dr.Binayak Sen, who has been wrongly detained by the Chattisgarh state government for the last two years. Reports say that Dr.Sen’s bail application is rejected by the State High Court and the Supreme Court of India.
Javed Iqbal recently wrote 2 stories with photos on binayaksen.net. The First one is about the Anatomy of an encounter in South Bastar and second one is about an Attack On The Village Of Badepalli by the Security Forces. He was roughed up by the police during the demolition of VCA for exposing police brutality, police encounters, and Salwa Judum through these stories. Continue reading his Open Letter to Police - Editors
On the 17th of May, 2009, during the demolition of the Vanvasi Chetna Ashram, I was taking pictures and the instant the archway of the Ashram’s gate was broken by the bulldozer, I was picked up by a policeman, had my camera confiscated, then beaten repeatedly by some security forces and some members of the STF.
I was then locked up in a police van.
Some thirty minutes later, two policemen entered the police van, that now had about three other people, and I was taken out into the open. Now I was beaten again by three-four policemen by lathis, specifically from the STF who started to abuse me, by saying: ‘Saala madharchod, tum humare khilaf likhta hai?’ (You mother****er, you write against the police?)
‘Tu Badepalli gaya tha na, bhonsdike?’ (You had gone to Badepalli, hadn’t you, ********?)
Eventually, I was let back into the van and kept there for another few hours in the summer heat. I was repeatedly abused by passing policemen yet also treated kindly by a few sympathetic policemen from the CGP (Chattisgarh State Police). I was then taken to the police station and released after a medical check-up under police supervision that didn’t even bother to check for any bruises.
Now, to the police.
All you have done is helped motivate me, and offered me more clarity than before. I shall not pack my bags and leave, and even if I do, I shall be back. Your lathi-wielding policemen actually ‘complimented’ me, mentioning the stories that I’ve done as they beat me, and I was happy that someone was reading my work. In fact, the mention of Badepalli by the policeman who beat me, where 19 homes were burnt on the 26th of April, 2009, is really the first compliment I’ve gotten for that story. But before there are anymore incidents as such, when your ‘boys’ think it’s necessary to beat up journalists who delve for the truth and listen to the whispers of a suffering people, I believe the time has come for a little clarity between us, and you must know what I am doing here.
You, are, my police.
I do not pay my taxes for you to kill villagers and burn villages without the proper conduct of law. I do not accept that you earn the right to live in the grey world, believing you have the right to do as you wish, as long as it is for the greater good. Yet what is this greater good? This funny little thing called Law & Order. There is no such thing as the greater good and I don’t give you the right to be the defenders of denial, of the status quo that ensures that people remain ignorant, unaware, apathetic, and live a meaningless insecure egocentric life in the pursuit of wealth, self-indulgence, power with the daily dosage of IPL matches, saas-bahu shows and parties, when more than half the country starves its own soul for a single meal.
I believe in shattering the mirrors of the status quo with a hammer and you wish to protect it. I believe people have the right to dissent, to protest and to ensure that the state does not get away with the power, that we, the citizens, have bequeathed upon it. And this protest, this dissent has every right to exist in a democracy. The stone that is hurled at the police ordered in to curb an angry mob who’ve been betrayed by an incompetent or corrupt administration, is democracy.
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JohnyML in By All Means Necessary
I don’t like wearing my conscience on my sleeves. But today I feel like doing it, thanks to Facebook, a networking site that I started hating recently.
I have been seeing Free ‘Dr.Binayak Sen’ campaigns as taglines of my friends for a long time. But I had never thought of asking these questions, ‘Who is Dr.Binayak Sen?’, ‘Why is he arrested?’ etc.
Today, I chanced upon the country singer, Susmit Bose’s Youtube posting on Dr.Binayak Sen. Let me tell you I was more interested to see Susmit Bose’ singing than the cause for which he was singing.
I googled to know more about Susmit Bose. The more I learnt about Bose, the more I felt the need to know about Dr.Binayak Sen. So I started googling Dr.Binayak Sen.
As all of you know by now, Dr.Binayak Sen is detained under the Chattisgarh Special Public Security Act by the Chattisgarh Government. Surprisingly, today (14th May 2009) marks the second anniversary of his detention.
Take a look at Two Years too Much!! Page for a list of actions happening around May 14th, 2nd anniversary of Dr. Binayak Sen’s unjust imprisonment
On 14th May, 2009, Dr. Binayak Sen – paediatrician and one of India’s finest human rights activist – will be completing two years in jail. Dr. Sen is in jail because he raised his voice against Salwa Judum – an illegal private army created by the Chattisgarh state government which now even the Supreme Court has criticised, because he was protesting the forcible displacement of lakhs of tribals in the state in the name of development, because he exposed fake encounter killings by the police. To silence his tireless and fearless voice, the government has incarcerated him under the draconian CSPSA and UAPA – undemocratic laws which give almost unlimited powers to the police to arrest and put behind bars for years ordinary people!
It is a part of the general attack on democratic rights taking place all over the country. It is related to the kind of development taking place all over the country in the name of globalization:
The politicians, bureaucracy, police have launched a ferocious offensive on the lands, water and forests of the poor. They want to seize control of these means of livelihoods of the common people and transfer them to giant corporations – Indian and foreign – so that they can set up mining projects, mega industrial projects, SEZs, tourism projects, residential projects for the rich, and so on, and earn super profits.
It has led to massive displacement of people and loss of their livelihoods. The people are obviously fighting back. And so, under all kinds of pretexts like fighting terrorism, the criminals and murderers who dominate the Indian Parliament are passing the most draconian laws which give almost unlimited powers to the police to arrest and put behind bars for years ordinary people!
To raise awareness among the people about the kind of development in the country and the attack on human rights, Lokayat is organising a documentary festival on this Saturday.
Dr. Binayak Sen Film Festival
Date: May 9, 2009
Time: 5 – 8 pm
Venue: Lokayat Hall, opp. Syndicate Bank, Law College Road, Near Nal Stop, Pune
Entry is free.
The Director General of Police,
I am writing to you with regards to the correspondence between me and the Former DGP, Chattisgarh Shri Vishwaranjanji on the heinous killings of the three tribal of Kothrapal village of the 18th of March, 2008. I attach herewith the letter written by me to the DGP which out all the facts. In response to my letter, the DGP wrote a lengthy letter, which, however was far more removed from facts and was quite misleading.
Having gone through the letter of Vishwaranjanji and confirming with activists and people on the ground, including the wisdoms and victims themselves, it seems to us that the DGP has written only on the basis of unverified information received from his staff on the field. The story he had written to me is far away from the description given by the widows and the one who survived. We have many reasons to rely on victims’ narration on the following factual grounds:
- All victims are giving the same narrative and there is no contradiction in any body’s version.
- The widows and persons survived have beating marks on their back; which confirms their claim of being beaten by police & SPOs and if their husbands were taken away and killed by Naxals; how these widows got beating marks; while survivor Somadu Kudiyam has broken rib & fractured arm, as shown clearly by the x-ray.
- Our field activists have talked personally with many other camp inmates who are confirming the widows allegation as true.
- The victims themselves met DGP Vishwaranjanji in his office at Raipur; where they narrated the whole incident to the DGP and he did not raise any questions on the reliability of the victims then.
It is also indeed true that people are forcibly being brought in Salwa Judum Camps and are still kept there by threat and intimidation.
I hope you will, at least now investigate into these unlawful acts and in fact the entire monstor of Salwa Judum and guarantee peace, justice and a life with all fundamental rights to the adivasis of Chattisgarh.