Binayak Sen’s family turns to RTI for help
Raipur, September 27: For the past four months, Dr Ilina Sen’s routine includes combing through legal documents, meeting human rights activists and mustering strength to fight the state for arresting her husband on allegations of being a “Naxal sympathiser”. Shuttling between Raipur, where her husband Dr Binayak Sen, national Vice-President of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), has been kept under detention after his arrest on May 14, 2007, and her work place Wardha where she is a dean with a central university, Sen has directed all her strength to protect her husband from the state clampdown.
Ever since Binayak Sen was arrested under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005 and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, life has been an ordeal for the Sen family.
The couple’s younger daughter Aparajita, a Class XI student, has been transferred from a school in Raipur to Wardha to shield her from the ongoing legal process. Sen claimed her husband was being demonised by Government sources in the local media. Their elder daughter Pranhita, a fine arts degree student at Khairagarh University, is helping her mother keep the household running.
Sen claimed that the Chhattisgarh Police were falsely implicating her husband. “All meetings between Narayan Sanyal and my husband took place after seeking the written permission of Government authorities. However, the chargesheet filed by the police is trying to portray these meetings as secretive,” Sen said.
Not wanting to be deprived of sufficient information, Sen took recourse to the Right to Information Act. “Through RTI we have secured related documents which show the Senior Superintendent of Police granting permission for the two to meet,” Sen claimed.
Charges against Binayak Sen are scheduled to be framed in a local court on September 29 where lawyers representing him will produce these documents before the court, she stated.
The only support for the family has come from human rights activists, who have been visiting Chhattisgarh regularly since the arrest of Dr Sen in an effort to make the case heard in power circles.
PUCL President Rajendra Sail stated that Dr Sen was a human rights activist who had been speaking out against police atrocities and killing of innocent tribals in the Naxalite affected areas. “Through Dr Sen’s untiring efforts several police wrongs were uncovered,” Sail added, while accusing the police of falsely trying to implicate Dr Sen by fabricating circumstantial evidence against him.
A paediatrician by profession and a public health specialist, Dr Sen has been languishing in Raipur jail for the past four months. As General Secretary of Chhattisgarh PUCL, Dr Sen helped to organise numerous fact-finding campaigns about human rights violations in the state including custody deaths, fake encounters, hunger deaths, dysentery epidemics, malnutrition and other similar violations.
When contacted, Chhattisgarh Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam refused to comment on the issue stating that as the matter was in the court, “the legal process would take its own course”.
IndianExpress.com :: Binayak Sen’s family turns to RTI for help