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Binayak Sen unjustifiably prosecuted: Amartya Sen
NEW DELHI/Kolkata, JAN 8 (IANS):
Published on 8 Jan. 2011 11:02 PM IST
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Eminent economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen Saturday said that rights activist Binayak Sen, who has been sentenced to life term for sedition over his alleged links with Maoists, has been “unjustifiably prosecuted”.
“Binayak Sen has been unjustifiably prosecuted, as a citizen of the country I want to ask the question, is the decision correct?,” the economist said after releasing a book on Binayak Sen.
He also extended supported to author Arundhati Roy who was recently blamed for sedition for her speech favouring separatists in Kashmir. She was, however, not booked for sedition.
“This raises other questions like on Arundhati Roy. It was said that her speech hurt the patriotic sentiment. We don’t have any obligation to express only patriotic sentiment,” he said.
Speaking on the life sentence to Binayak Sen, he said: “The first question is whether the evidences are correct. Secondly, if it is correct, how can passing letters be sedition. I may post a letter for some one without knowing the content, that does not make it sedition.”
Binayak Sen was sentenced to life imprisonment by a Chhattisgarh court Dec 24, 2010 for sedition and his alleged links with Maoists.
Sen explained that sedition was an act of pulling the state down by violence, which doctor Binayak Sen never did. “There was no sedition committed in my view. There are no indications to suggest that Binayak was involved in violence, or preached violence. If anything can be seen from his writing, he was against sedition,” he said.
“I am not committing any sedition myself by saying this.” He also expressed hope that law will take its own course and the activist would get justice in higher courts.
“He is a doctor who could have earned a huge amount of money at home or abroad, but he decided to serve people. This is just the intermission, he will come back and serve the people again,” he added.
A doctor by profession, Binayak Sen, who is also the vice-president of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), was awarded by the US-based Global Health Council for his work in global health and human rights in 2008 when he was in a Chhattisgarh jail.
Kolkata doctors
to campaign
Expressing shock and anguish over the life sentence given to rights activist Binayak Sen, doctors here Saturday said they would carry out an intensified campaign demanding his immediate and unconditional release.
City-based medical practitioners, who have formed an organisation ‘Free Dr. Binayak Sen campaign, Doctors in Solidarity’ to protest the conviction, urged the people to come forward and demand his release.
“Through our organisation, we have been and will be protesting against the conviction. We need to broaden this campaign and we urge all democracy loving people, cutting across political beliefs, to come forward and demand Sen’s immediate release,” organisation convener Sanjib Mukherjee told reporters.
“We are in talks with the medical fraternity in other states and plan to converge in Delhi to protest,” Mukherjee said. The organisation has also set up a monetary fund to help Sen in his legal battle.
Sen was sentenced to life imprisonment Dec 24 after being held guilty of sedition and criminal conspiracy by a Chhattisgarh court for his alleged links with Maoists.
Sen, 60, is presently lodged in Raipur central jail after District and Sessions Court Judge B.P. Varma convicted him along with Maoist ideologue Narayan Sanyal and Kolkata-based businessman Piyush Guha for sedition and criminal conspiracy.
He filed an appeal against the conviction in the Chhattisgarh High Court Jan 6.

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