On January 20 over 150 survivors of the Union Carbide disaster and people exposed to ground water contaminated by Union Carbide’s hazardous waste in Bhopal marched with lighted torches demanding immediate release of Dr. Binayak Sen,
paediatrician and vice president of the Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties.
The four organizations leading the march strongly condemned the December 24, 2010 order of the Additional Sessions Judge, Raipur that sentenced Dr. Binayak Sen, Mr. Narayan Sanyal and Mr. Pijush Guha to life imprisonment calling it a blatant travesty of justice.
Rachna Dhingra of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action said that the sentence against Dr. Sen, who has spent his entire life amongst the poor, raising issues of rampant poverty and state-sponsored exploitation, and who protested against state
repression and brutal genocidal campaigns like Salwa Judum, is a farce in the name of justice.
Remembering Dr. Sen’s support to the cause of the Bhopal victims, Rashida Bee, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh said that “If Dr. Sen is guilty of sedition, so are we.” She expressed hope that the High Court of Chhattisgarh would reverse the flawed judgment and free Dr. Sen who is languishing in jail.
Mr. Balkrishna Namdeo, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha said that India’s already dented credentials as a democracy and an upholder of human rights would be irreversibly damaged if the sentence against Dr. Sen is not quashed on January 24, when the matter is placed before the High Court of Chhattisgarh.