Isn’t It Time to End this Injustice? Free Binayak Sen!”- Mumbai Meeting

April, 3 , 2009- About 60-70 people attended the public meeting Isn’t It Time to End this Injustice? Free Binayak Sen!” organised by Insaaniyat and Committee for Release of Dr Binayak Sen at the Mumbai Press club yesterday


Drs Sanjay Nagral & Santosh Karmarkar, who have been associated with Dr Binayak Sen, lamented the fact that the medical community had not been vocal for the release of Dr Binayak Sen. Dr Santosh committed that he will ask his colleagues in the association of paediatricians to raise the issue and put pressure on the government. It is ironical that medical profession is a such a strong lobby that it is rare to see a doctor behind bars, but here is doctor who is also civil liberties activist, who has raised his voice against SALWA JUDUM, and has been incarcerated. Dr Nagral while echoing the same question which is in our minds, why is Binayak is not being released, he said that the answer, which is scary, is that the Government has to be accountable for keeping him illegally for two years without a case, if they release now, how can they account for his two years in the prison ?


Film maker Sudhir Mishra said , who will after studying medicine aboroad, go and settle in the most unapproachable area of chattisgarh, nobody except people like Binayak! He left the comfortable club we all are part of and went to a place where there are no clubs. Dipankar, his brother and my friend, once told me that the time he spent in Sagar was synonymous with hell, that when he was there he had a terrible feeling that he would never be able to get out. Sudhir , during his visit to Binayak sen in raipur met many people and he saw people are forced to shift in designated camps. The camps are fortified. Those who don’t come to camps are attacked. The people who choose to live in villages have their houses burnt down, their crops destroyed, hitting them economically. All connections between those living in the villages and the outer world are systematically broken down.


Sudhir said that in the middle class unfortunately, who does not know about binayak and the issue, if you dig in their psyche you will hear the whisper that “he is a naxalite, hence should not be supported’. During his visit when he asked the concerned police officer what were the charges against Binayak, the police officer said it was done during his predecessor’s tenure and he did not know. Noted lawyers while looking at the case papers have said that there is NO CASE, but it is more of a political issue now.


“I think India needs to listen to people like Binayak, and through him, look at the problems he is addressing. I think more violence will follow if we do not listen to Binayak Sen’s urgent plea for compassion. I think different places have their own unique problems and need unique ideas to resolve them. I think India needs to listen to people like Binayak, and through him, look at the problems he is addressing. I think more violence will follow if we do not listen to Binayak Sen’s urgent plea for compassion. Appealed. He pointed out that now his health is the prime issue, it is no more political issue it is right to life which is being threatened.


Flim Maker Anand Patwardhan, while sharing his experience in court when he had gone to support the Raigarh Satyagrah,last month at the court hearing with said that although a cardiologist was treating Binayak Sen, but he has also recommended angiography ands angioplasty from CMC Vellore, but the court has said the treatment will be done “ niyamanusar” (as per the rules). There is basically no case against Binayak, no evidence and all star witnesses are turning hostile. Narrating the court hearing. Where one witness was to depose,Anand said when Judge asked him has he seen binayak before ? The witness said yes I have seen him on television. A mockery of justice is being made in Binayak sen case, he added. Anand showed his 5 minute film of his recent visit to raipur, in which Binayak talked about his health status, that he is suffering from heart disease and high blood pressure.
Dr Binayak Sen’s elder daughter Pranita Sen who is studying mass media at Xavier College in Mumbai, making her first public appearance said that she has been accompanying her father in many of investigations on salwa judum, and infact she has herself seen people dying in cross fire in front of her own eyes. “ It is one thing to hear about it, to read about it, but to see it with your own eyes, I could not sleep for days”. She also said that in Chattisgarh region The Tatas and the Essar Group, interested in mining, are financing the Salwa Judum. Both the Maoists and the Salwa Judum cadres are tribals and they are often made to clash and kill each other. The industrialists are interested in getting Tribal lands vacated to start their mining work.Chattisgarh, particularly its capital Raipur, has suddenly started buzzing with industrialists interested in exploiting its mining wealth. The politicians are kept pleased with bribe. Its diamond mine has attracted the world’s No.1 diamond magnates, the De Beers, a South African Jewish business house. She said,” it is no more individual issue, it is no more chattisgarh issue, it is your issue, my issue , it is our issue, which has to be taken nationally.”


Sanober Keshwar from Committee for Release of Binayak Sen said that Ilina sen is trying to go to the supreme court before 14th May , depending on the availability of the counsel which will mark two years of his imprisonment . A batch of activists will be going to support Raipur Satygrah on apirl 6th and april 13th from Maharashtra.Many suggestions came up for strengthening the free binayak sen and also supporting the raigarh satyagrah in Mumbai and Delhi every Monday. May 14th will mark two years of his incarceration, and we all need to mass mobilise support for release of Binayak sen.Anjaam film by Ajay T G on  Binayak Sen was also shown in the meeting.The next planning meeting will be announced soon.


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