Posts Tagged ‘Raipur satyagraha
New Delhi: Civil rights activist Dr Binayak Sen on Tuesday walked out of a Raipur jail, two years after he was booked under stringent security laws for his alleged links with Maoists.
“I am a human rights worker and continue to stay so,” said Sen, who was granted bail by the Supreme Court on Monday.
“I don’t why I was put in jail but it is very good to be out of it. I am on bail and my case is still being hear,” Sen told reporters after his release.
Sen feared a threat to his life from the Chhattisgarh government but didn’t elaborate on his allegation. “I think I have a danger from the Chhattisgarh government though nobody has said anything to me,” he said.
“I have no separate message for the Maoists. We are against all kinds of violence. Peace must prevail and peace must replace war. I condemn all sorts of violence by anyone.”
IANS reports the Supreme Court on Monday granted bail to Sen, who was in a jail for over two years under unproven charges of links with Maoists in Chhattisgarh.
The Chhattisgarh government has booked Sen, the vice-president of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) under the stringent anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, for his alleged links with Maoists.
IANS reports Sen won the prestigious Jonathan Mann award in the year 2008 for his work in health and human rights. He has been working in Chhattisgarh for more than a decade, making health accessible to the poorest.
He has been suffering from a heart ailment and has also sought permission to be treated at his alma mater, the Christian Medical College, Vellore. His supporters have campaigned relentlessly for over two years and range from Nobel laureates to civil rights activists to filmmakers and writers.
Hello and greetings. Many of you have been asking for copy of the song written in the context of Dr. Binayak Sen and Lalit Mehta.
So here it is with rough English translation. Your suggestions are welcome. We are trying for a rapid recording of the same and if all goes well in about 10-12 days, we should have at least the audio recording with us.
It talks of how historically there have been people who have told us not to be scared of speaking truth. It has one stanza on the salwa judum, one on binayak and lalit and the last stanza talks of the exploitation of resources and people and all those unfulfilled dreams which keep telling us not to be scared.
You all are welcome to sing it, print it, use it and spread it further.
Charul – Vinay
विनय महाजन और चारुल भरवाडा (by Vinay & Charul )
पीरों का यह कहना है ,फकीरों का यह कहना है’
बुल्ले का यह कहना है, कबीरों का यह कहना है
रांझों का यह कहना है, हीरों का यह कहना है
साथी डर मत जाना
(Pirs are saying, Fakirs are saying
Bulleh is Saying, Kabirs are saying
Ranjhas are Saying and Heers are saying
Arrows of Birsa Munda, Tilika are saying
Friend, Don’t be scared!)
जले हुए घरों की दीवारों का यह कहना है
आदिवासी आंसू के अंगारों का यह कहना है
गोलियों से मिट गयी तकदीरों का यह कहना है
पूरब पश्चिम, उत्तर दक्षिण चरों का यह कहना है
साथी डर मत जाना
(Walls of the burnt up homes are saying
Flames in the Adivasi tears are saying
Destinies erased by the bullets are saying
East-west north-south, all four are saying
Friend, Don’t be Scared)
ललित का यहे कहना है, बिनायक का यह कहना है
जेलों की सलाखों का, जंजीरों का यह कहना है
दीवारों पे लिखे हुए नारों का यह कहना है
उठे हुए हाथों की लकीरों का यह कहना है
साथी डर मत जाना
(Lalit is saying, Binayak is saying
Bars and the chains of prisons are saying
Slogans written on the walls are saying
The lines in the raised up hands are saying
Friend, Don’t be Scared)
खेतों का यहे कहना है, खदानों का यह कहना है
जंगलों में सूखे पढ़े झरनों का यह कहना है
रोती हुई मिटटी का, मशीनों का यह कहना है
तेरी मेरी ज़िन्दगी के, सपनों का यह कहना है
साथी डर मत जाना
(Farms are saying and the mines are saying
Dead dried springs in the forests are saying
The soil that is crying and Machines are Saying
Dreams of your life and mine are saying
Friend, Don’t be Scared.)
विनय महाजन और चारुल भरवाडा
May 14, 2009
Raipur: 225 persons from all over the country courted arrest at the Netaji Subhash Hockey Stadium; at the end of a day of protest here to mark two years of the arrest of Dr Binayak Sen. This the 9th round of the satyagraha which began eight weeks ago in an effort to mobilise public opinion against Dr Sen’s unjust incarceration.
The day’s events began with a public meeting at Buda Talab, where activists from varied organisations (from human rights groups, to trade unions, people’s movements, to women’s groups and student bodies) and community health workers from all over India talked about the many reasons and ways in which they were involved with the campaign to free Dr Sen, and the implications of his arrest for democratic politics in this country.
Those who spoke included PUCL-Chhattisgarh’s President Rajendra Sail, PUCL-MP President Shyam Bahadur Namri and President of the Bangalore chapter of PUCL Ramdas Rao. Dr. Meher Engineer from the Bose Institute and K. J. Mukherjee, lecturer from Jawaharlal Nehru University also addressed the gathering. Gautam Bandopadhyay from the Nadi Ghati Morcha and Guu Behen, an activist involved in opposing the Jindal plant in Jashpur spoke about the struggles of displaced persons in Chhattisgarh. CPI(ML) Leader Navrottam Sharma, Dr Satyamala from the Medico-Friends Circle and Advocate Sudha Bhardwaj also addressed the gathering.
Over 600 persons braved the Raipur heat and took out a procession through the streets of Raipur shouting slogans, singing songs and demanding the release of Dr Sen. The rally was a show of strength, determination, diversity and the power of people’s resistance.
People carried posters and banners; distributed calendars and wore coarse cotton jackets with messages demanding the release of Dr. Binayak Sen and in a show of solidarity for the cause from across the country. Cycle rickshaws laden with water and mikes punctuated the procession. Besides the involvement of a wide range of groups, and organisations there was a large and visible media presence –electronic and print.
The protestors burnt an effigy that was to represent the anti-people programme the Salwa Judum and the draconian law – Chattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2005 and to signify their outrage and anger at the Chhattisgarh government’s anti- people policies. A large contingent from Karnataka raised slogans and sang songs in Kannada demanding the release of Dr Sen.
The rally ended at the Netaji Subhash stadium, where 135 men and 90 women courted arrest. After this, members of various peoples movements, student groups and NGOs addressed those present- expressing their added resolve to carry on the struggle in solidarity with the various groups.
Similar rallies have been held today in many other cities in India.
- Unconditional and immediate release Dr. Binayak Sen
- Release all detained under Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2005
- Repeal CSPS Act immediately.
- End Salwa Judum Now.
- Bring the culprits of fake encounter and violence against Adivasis to the justice.
- Stop Salwa Judum Camp and ensure return of displaced people to their homes.
- The end to unjust detention of human rights defenders and social activists
Mukti Utsav Raipur: Demanding the release of Dr. Binayak Sen and in support of democratic rights in Chhattisgarh
Freedom Festival (Mukti Utsav)
Raypur Satyagraha May 13th Cultural Event
Sahu Bhavan, Bairan Bazaar, Raipur
To mark two years of unjust incarceration of Dr. Binayak Sen, hundreds of artists, poets, activists, writers, workers and ordinary people from across India gathered for an evening of cultural resistance at 6.30 pm and demanded immediate release of Dr. Sen.
The artists condemned the repression of peaceful democratic dissent by the Chhattisgarh government. The performances reflected the power of people’s resistance and encouraged the people to resist with greater determination. It was a vibrant evening with high energy, hope and celebration of people’s struggles against oppressive state.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Ilina Sen asked provocatively: what is a nation? who is the nation? Does it include its people and people’s aspirations? If it does, then how can Mr. Sen, a champion of people’s causes be arrested as being anti-national? She hoped for the speedy release of Dr. Sen and for the day when people of Chhatiisgarh could live in peace.
The messages of the various artists were very powerful and inspiring. The Qawwals led by Mubarak Ali from Bhopal inspired by Amir Khusro’s famous doha ‘the tilak has been snatched away ever since you have stolen my glance’ they sang “government who destroys us, we appeal to you don’t destroy our eyes, they long to see Binayak” Referring to Dr. Sen’s imprisonment they sang “since the time you left us, the city seems deserted”.
The Thurmil’s all-women pandvani group from Durg, who traditionally sing the Mahabharata sang “Chhattisgarh is asking, Give us our freedom, We don’t need Salwa Judum, We don’t need your bullets and sticks, We don’t need your enemy law, All we ask for is, Give us our freedom”
Bhuiayan ki Chirag, the cultural troupe of Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha, Bhilai they sang “Every morning, we eat the leftovers of the previous night, but remember, I am the Chhattisgarh who tills the land, Chhattisgarh is Mine! Mine!”
Mr. Mir Ali Mir and Mr. Sham Bahadur Namri rendered their poetry on Mr. Binayak Sen, Bhopal Gas Tragedy and ecological destruction. Anjaam (about Mr. Sen) a film by Mr. Ajay TG and Gaon chodab nahin, a music video against displacement of adivasis by development projects by KP Sasi were screened.
People participating and organizing the program include: Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha represented by Lakhan Singh, People’s Union for Civil Liberties – Chhattisgarh represented by Rajendra Sail (President) and Vijendra (Joint Secreatary), Rupantar, Madhya Pradesh Mahila Manch, JNU Students Union-Delhi, students of the Centre for Islamic Studies, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Drik Sakshi.
There was a large contingent from Karnataka including students of Indian Institute of Science, People’s Union for Civil Liberties – Karnataka, Alternative Law Forum, Karnataka Sex Workers Union, Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum, Sadhane, Samara and Suraksha.
The evening ended with the resolve to continue the struggle for democratic rights in Chhattisgarh and outside.
Kavitha, Manohar, Siddharth, Shubha
On behalf of the global campaign to release Dr Binayak Sen, we are writing to draw your attention to the fact that, since 14 May 2007, Dr Sen has been in prison on incredible charges of collusion in terrorist violence. The trial has now been in progress for over a year. The police have yet to produce any credible evidence against him. The courts have neither granted Dr Sen bail, nor allowed him to seek medical treatment for his grave ailments at a facility where he feels safe.
Amnesty International has declared Dr Binayak Sen a Prisoner of Conscience and has called for his immediate and unconditional release.
For almost three decades, Dr. Sen provided health care to the poor and underprivileged communities of Chhattisgarh, and defended their civil liberties and human rights. He steadfastly opposed violence of any kind, regardless of who the perpetrators were, and openly called for peace talks. For the two years that he has now languished in jail, the community has been denied his services and his outspoken voice on their behalf.
The global campaign is coordinating worldwide protests/appeals on Dr. Sen’s behalf to coincide with the second anniversary of his reprehensible imprisonment on May 14th.
We the undersigned urge you to join the global protest on 14 May 2009.
- Ilina Sen & Kavita Srivastava – Release Binayak Sen Campaign, India
- K G Kannabiran, Justice Rajinder Sachar, Rajendra Sail – PUCL, India
- Sudha Bharadwaj; Satya Sivaraman; Ashim Roy – Raipur Satyagraha Campaign, India
- P Zachariah – Alumni Association, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India
- Manan Ganguli – Release Binayak Sen Now Campaign, UK
- Roger Jeffery & Anuj Kapilashrami – Free Binayak Sen Campaign (Scotland), UK
- Usha Menon/Vaskar Saha – CMC Alumni in support of Binayak Sen, UK
- Groups in the USA campaigning in support of Binayak Sen
- Honorine Ward & Mary Ganguli – CMC Alumni in support of Binayak Sen, USA
- Somnath Mukherji & Somu Kumar – Association for India’s Development, USA
- Jinee Lokaneeta & Murli Natarajan – South Asian solidarity Initiative, USA
- Anu Mandavilli & Shalini Gera – Friends of South Asia, USA
- Rasheed Ahmed – Indian Muslim Council, USA
- Kaleem Kawaja – Association of Indian Muslims of America, Washington DC, USA
- Joel Lamstein – Global Health Council, USA
- Richard Sollom – Physicians for Human Rights, USA
- Hari Sharma – South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy, Canada
By Keya Acharya
BANGALORE, May 8 (IPS) – Even while India goes to the polls in a lumbering show of democracy, human rights activist-doctor Binayak Sen remains in prison on unproven terrorism charges.
Sen’s bail plea was finally admitted by the apex Supreme Court (SC) on May 4, 10 days short of his second anniversary in jail in Raipur, capital of the central state of Chhatisgarh where Sen has practiced as a doctor to the rural poor for nearly three decades.
The SC has now asked the state government to report, posting a final hearing in another fortnight. The SC has also asked the Chhatisgarh government to ensure that the best medical treatment be made available to Sen.
Prison authorities have refused Sen, who was diagnosed with cardiac symptoms, permission to go to his alma mater, the reputed Christian Medical College, Vellore, south India, for cardiac surgery.
Sen has refused treatment in Raipur saying he perceived a threat to his life from a local hospital and that he had the legal right to a hospital of his choice.
“I think he’s in danger,” his wife Illina Sen, a professor of women’s studies in Wardha University, told IPS on the telephone from Raipur. “… Binayak is absolutely right that his life may be in danger in any facility controlled by the state in Chhatisgarh.”
The government accused Sen of passing on a set of letters from Narayan Sanyal, a guerrilla Naxal, or Maoist leader in Raipur jail, to a businessman with alleged close links to the radical left movement in Chhatisgarh. He is charged under the sweepingly-powerful Chhatisgarh State Public Security Act 2005, for “hatching a conspiracy” and abetting terrorism.
The Naxal movement, rampant in the southern forested belt of Chhattisgarh, is an armed and violent guerilla conflict born from long years of socio-economic inequality, alienation and displacement of tribals from their lands.
In its turn, the state authorities have aided and abetted an even more violent vigilante movement started in 2005 to quash the Maoists.
The movement, called Salwa Judum is charged by the independent, national People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), of which Sen is the state co-ordinator, of using rape, arson, intimidation and other brutalties to forcefully evict all tribal settlements in the district under the guise of their being Naxals.
Statement issued on 4th May 2009, Raipur by Ms. Medha Patkar and other social activists on the occasion of the 8th week of the Satyagrah for the release of Dr. Binayak Sen
Satyagrah by Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan, Narmada Bachao Andolan, and National Alliance of People’s Movements
The incarceration of Dr. Binayak Sen for the last 23 months is a shameful episode for those who consider India to be a democratic nation. By abusing rather then using the law, he has been arrested ostensibly as a ‘supporter of naxalites’ and his bail has been denied. Well known as a creative doctor, a progressive scientist, a human rights defender and a sensitive personality, Binayakji has been the victim of a political conspiracy only because of his social commitment and ideological clarity.
We, the supporters of People’s Movements from all over the country condemn the Chattisgarh government and administration for this immoral act. Without any concrete and legally admissible evidence, without proper judicial processes, to deny bail is to deny the right of life and liberty to such a senior activist. We perceive this as a violation of the rights of all of us and as an insult to our citizenship.
‘Salwa Judum’ is no peace march. We the supporters of non-violent people’s movements believe that dealing with any violence and anyone’s violence with violence is not only illegal but also impossible. When the state itself uses violence openly, then it looses the moral authority to oppose its opponents – whether they be violent terrorists or people’s movements. So, to consider a person who was working on the basis of non violence and compassion, who was involved in alleviating these suffering of the adivasis of Bastar district, and who was the General Secretary of the People’s Union of Civil Liberties to be a supporter of violence is a distorted understanding, which the Chattisgarh government must correct at the earliest.
The deprivation of adivasis from their rights over water, land and forest; the transfer of natural resources to companies – to our mind, this is not development but rather in reality a destruction which is going to increase inequalities. In the name of ‘development’ in countless ways the lands of adivasis are being looted from us. They want to displace us from the lands of our ancestors, from our traditions ; they want to tie down our rivers, pollute them and divert all water towards themselves. It is a person like Binayakji who stood in solid support with us against these processes, whom the state today holds prisoner.
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The eighth batch of over 200 protesters took part in the satyagraha for the release of jailed human rights and health activist Dr Binayak Sen, in Raipur today.
The programme began with protestors congregating at Budha Talab and holding a public meeting there.
The protestors marched through the streets of Raipur and later 185 of them courted arrest. The courting of arrest occurred after the satyagrahis were detained at Subhash Stadium by the Chhattisgarh authorities, following peaceful non-violent protest. They were all later released.
The satyagrahis who courted arrest included among others Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan and National Alliance of People’s Movements, Himanshu of the Vanvasi Chetna Ashram, Tukaram of the Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan, Noorjahan of the Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan and Lakhan of the CMM (Karyakartha Committee).
The next satyagraha will be held on 14 May, the second annivesary of Dr Sen’s arrest, when hundreds of people from around the country are expected to participate. A cultural evening of protest songs, plays and poetry is also planned for 13th May.
Demanding the Release of Dr. Sen and for Restoration of Democratic Rights in Chhatitsgarh
On 14 May 2009 Dr Binayak Sen, Vice President of the People’s Union For Civil Liberties, and General Secretary of Chhattisgarh unit of PUCL, the well known paediatrician and human rights defender will complete two years in a Raipur prison on false charges of abetting Maoist activity in Chhattisgarh, sedition, waging war against State under various sections of the draconian Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005 and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 2004 (amended) and the IPC.
PUCL along with several human rights and social movements have been protesting against the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2005 and the UAPA (amended) 2004, demanding for their repeal, and release of all those detained under these draconian laws violating the Constitution of India in letter and spirit. Some 178 people have been detained under these draconian laws in Chhattisgarh, which include Traders/businessmen, Tailor, Journalists, Doctors, NGO workers, Media persons/Film-makers, Farmers/Landless Agricultural Workers, Cultural Activists, etc. Ajay T G, Film Maker and a member of the State Executive Committee of CG PUCL has also been detained under the CSPSA 2005 on 5th May 2008, and later released on bail as the State failed to file a charge-sheet against him in stipulated 90 days. Even after completion of a year, the State has failed to bring charges against him in a competent court of law, although he is still required to record his attendance at the Police Station.
Dr. Sen raised his voice relentlessly against the war waged by the State of Chhattisgarh against the adivasis in Dantewara in the name of Salwa Judum, and exposed the crimes committed by the State against its own citizens.
It will be two years of life snatched from one of India’s finest public-spirited doctors, who has spent over three decades in the service of some of the poorest and neglected people in this country. In these two years Dr Sen has indeed become a universal symbol for the struggle for the restoration of democratic rights in the country. He has been called a prisoner of conscience by the Amnesty International.
It will also be two years of shame for Indian democracy to have put someone like him in jail simply because the powers-that-be could not stand his criticism of their abject human rights record. For the Indian justice system too it will be a scandalous two years for repeatedly denying Dr Sen bail on specious grounds in a country where perpetrators of mass violence not just roam free but also contest elections and come to power.
The situation is not entirely dismal though for these two years have also seen an unprecedented surge of citizen activism both within and outside India calling for the release of Dr Sen and the end of undemocratic of ways of the Chhattisgarh Government. Nobel laureates, medical professionals, academics, journalists, human rights and health activists, students, workers, rural folk – the sheer range of people who have got involved in this epic struggle to challenge the injustice done to Dr Sen – and through him to all of us- has been truly phenomenal.
It is in keeping with this spirit of fighting to preserve our rights, liberty and freedom that we once again call upon everyone to join the various protests, vigils, public meetings and cultural events taking place around the world on 14 May 2009 to mark the second anniversary of Dr Sen’s imprisonment.
In Raipur, Chhattisgarh itself 14 May 2009 will be marked by a massive rally and courting of arrest as part of the Satyagraha program, now entering its eighth continuous week.
We call upon all our State Units to organize protest demonstrations on this day in their own States and, if possible join the Satyagraha program at Raipur, Chhattisgarh which has already seen hundreds of activists taking part from all over India.
And on the evening of 13th May 2009 there will be a special event by singers, musicians, poets, theatre artists and others to both protest the victimisation of Dr Sen and also celebrate the determined public resistance to the decimation of democratic norms and values. Once again all those who can come for this event and also contribute to it through individual or group performances are welcome to join in.
We take this opportunity to call all of you to come to Raipur on the 13th and 14th May, 2009 and show your solidarity in support of a cause that is core of our constitutional democracy.
For further information contact:
1. Rajendra K Sail, President, Chhattisgarh PUCL firstname.lastname@example.org, 098268-04519
2. Kavita Srivastava, (PUCL, National Secretary): 09351562965, email@example.com
3. Sudha Bharadwaj, Member,EC,CGPUCL 09926603877, firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Gautam Bandyopadhyay, Convener, CG PUCL 098261-71304 email@example.com
5. Vijendra, Joint-Secretary, CG PUCL : 09406049737 firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Sadiq Ali, Treasurer, CG PUCL : 094255-15411
For information on other programmes happening on 14th in the India and Internationally
(PUCL, General Secretary)
Request From Binayaksen.net: Do alert us about your protests, public meetings, Cultural events etc along with announcements , posters , photos (if any) .Use the email address email@example.com for alerts
Update: April 27th, 2009
The Campaign for the release of Dr. Binayak Sen gained momentum today as 92 persons gathered from various parts of the country and different people’s groups courted arrest here in Raipur. As a part of the continuing satyagraha, the arrest came following a rally that began from “Boodha Talab”. The satyagrahis raised slogans and sang revolutionary songs, holding placards and banners as they marched towards Subhash Stadium. The slogans and songs continued there, even as the police carried out their legal procedures. The Magistrate soon announced the release of all Satyagrahis.
The Satyagrahis included members from Medico Friend Circle, like Manisha Gupte and Priya from Pune, Sarojini, Vandana Prasad, Indira Chakravarthy, Beenu, Anjali, Aastha, Susheela and Preeti from Delhi, Dr. Narendra Gupta from Rajasthan, Renu Khanna and S. Srinivasan from Baroda, Ravi Duggal, Satjot Kaur and Lubna from Nagpur, Manish from Assam and Lakshmi and Jeny from Chennai. Mr. Ashok Khandelwal from Delhi was also present.
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