Category Archives: Government

How To ‘Carve Out A Terrorist’ from an Innocent Person And Say It Works?

(Judge: The papers on my table show he is not Mukhtar. So what is his real name?
Officer: He is actually Aftab Alam Ansari.
Judge: That means you have arrested a wrong person. How can this horrible blunder take place?
The officer stayed silent.
Judge: If he is neither Mukhtar nor Raju, why did not you write that in the petition clearly? Have you written that? Please underline that and show it to me.
As the officer began scanning the petition, he looked puzzled.
Judge: I’m not going to accept this petition. Please go and make a fresh one.)

Aftab Alam Ansari, an electrician with a power company in Kolkatta, is finally free. And the ordeal through which he had to go through as a ‘terrorist’ is finally over.Recenly he met with the Chief Minister of Bengal to apprise him of the whole situation and seek help for his mother’s frailing health.

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State Repression In Chhattisgarh And Continued Detention Of Dr Binayak Sen

STATEMENT OF CONCERNED CITIZENS AND PEOPLE’S ORGANIZATONS

A group of former bureaucrats, academicians, lawyers and social activists visited Chhattisgarh from 18 – 22 January 2008 in connection with the prolonged incarceration of Dr Binayak Sen. The team met the Governor and Director General of Police and also met Dr Binayak Sen in the central prison at Raipur. Some members of the group also visited areas in the districts of Bastar, Dantewada and Bijapur.

In the light of the information gathered, the team is of the opinion that the charges filed against Dr Sen under the IPC, CrPC and the Chhattisgarh Public Safety Act (CPSA) are unwarranted and unconstitutional. The CPSA enables the government to interpret the rendering of simple humanitarian acts as unlawful The Act defines “unlawful activity” so broadly that every act of vigilant citizenship can be construed as unlawful and anti-national. Thus it is clear that Dr Sen is being targeted in his capacity as General Secretary of People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Chhattisgarh. The reports produced by the PUCL have highlighted the anti-constitutional violence legitimized by the state through the Salwa Judum campaign.

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Each day Binayak Sen spends in jail is one day less for democracy in India

ON DECEMBER 10 this year, the day internationally observed as Human Rights Day, the Supreme Court of India denied bail to the veteran rights activist, Dr Binayak Sen, incarcerated since May in Raipur jail under the Chhattisgarh Public Security Act and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. For those present, the 45-minute-long hearing was a horrible experience. We heard the prosecution claim that Dr Sen was part of the dreaded Maoist formation, and that giving him his freedom would mean setting him loose to spread subversion against the State. We saw, to our shock, how no verification was made of the prosecution’s claims, even as the government lawyer presented his summary of the contents of Dr Sen’s computer in the vilest terms, telling the court it contained letters describing how Dr Sen had helped organise an arms training camp at Nagpur. Defence counsel Rajeev Dhawan pointed out that the prosecution was distorting the letter’s contents, that Dr Sen had been in Nagpur in the course of a fact-finding mission into last year’s lynching of a Dalit family at Kherlanji and that he had nothing to do with any underground training. But the court felt that Dhawan’s arguments were matters to be looked into by the trial court, and it was satisfied that there was enough reason to deny Dr Sen bail.

Continue reading Each day Binayak Sen spends in jail is one day less for democracy in India

Human rights and public health are now the gravest threats to people’s safety

Excerpts from Saikat Datta on the doctored case against Binayak Sen.

What is the basis of the Chhattisgarh police’s case against Dr Sen? The chargesheet against him says he is a Naxalite sympathiser. This conclusion was reached after his name came up when the police recovered three letters from suspected Maoist Piyush Guha, arrested at the Raipur railway station. These were written to Guha by another alleged Maoist, Narayan Sanyal, presently lodged in Raipur Jail. The police claim Guha, under custodial interrogation, confessed that Dr Sen acted as courier.

Dr Sen did meet Sanyal in jail on several occasions. But each time it was with due permission from the jail superintendent and a body search before and after his meetings. And even if we were to accept that Dr Sen smuggled the letters out, what exactly was “incriminating” in them? One letter deals with farmer-related issues, the letter writer’s health and so on. In another note, Sanyal is discussing issues relating to his case and the approach his lawyer has taken in court. In yet another, he complains of there being “no
magazines” to read in jail and terrible conditions in prison.

Activist-lawyers like Prashant Bhushan see the framing of Dr Sen on such flimsy evidence as “a message that clearly states that people must shut their eyes to violations of human rights of the marginalised or risk arrest”.

Continue reading Human rights and public health are now the gravest threats to people’s safety

It’s a new year, and Binayak Sen is still in prison

Binayak Sen’s appeal to the Supreme Court for bail was dismissed on December 10, 2007 (in one of those meaningless ironies, December 10th is of course, International Human Rights Day).

A doctor working in Chhattisgarh, Binayak was arrested on May 14th 2007. His crime? He visited and treated an ailing prisoner in Raipur Central Jail with the permission of the jail authorities. The prisoner is a Naxalite. So Dr Sen is assumed to be a terrorist conspiring to overthrow the state, so dangerous that he cannot be given bail.

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REDD Salam

A week ago, I had promised a short post on the Forest Issue. As promised, here it is:

Nusa Dua: As the UNFCCC World Climate Change Conference crossed the 10,000 attendee mark , delegates braced themselves for what could be one most difficult and divisive issues of what could constitute “The Bali Breakthrough.” “The working group on Reduction of Emissions by Deforestation (and Degradation) in Developing Countries (REDD) was constituted and has begun work today,” stated UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer in his daily press briefing at the World Climate Change Summit today. The working group is tasked with arriving at a mechanism to incorporate deforestation reduction into the framework of the Kyoto Protocol and the carbon market.

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