Binayak Sen's conviction is proper use of a very bad law, says Arundhati Roy

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New Delhi, Feb 12(ANI): Activists of several civil rights groups and left wing organisations converged in New Delhi on Saturday to stage a rally to demand the release of human rights activist Dr. Binayak Sen.

A District and Sessions Court of Chhattisgarh has sentenced the 'barefoot doctor' to life imprisonment, and his plea for bail pending appeal before the High Court was rejected.

Addressing the rally, writer and social activist Arundhati Roy said the case should not be looked in isolation, but with a focus covering thousands of other innocents languishing in prisons.

She termed Dr. Sen's conviction as an undemocratic instance of 'proper use of a very bad law'.

"The fact is that, it is not about one man. It is about hundreds of nameless people who are also in jail. It is not about misuse of law; it is about the very proper use of a very bad law. So, the problem is that we have to talk about the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), which is actually, barely constitutional," Roy said.

"If you read it along with Indian Constitution, you cannot have that Constitution and this law. They are mutually exclusive. Very many provisions of POTA have been put into UAPA. So if there was a campaign led by the Congress party, also against POTA, how come they are using now this (same) law?" she added.

Around 80 sympathisers of Dr. Sen took part in this rally, which was organized by the All India Students' Association (AISA), Nyaybodh Vichaar Manch and other civil rights groups.

Dr. Sen was convicted of sedition charges under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act for his alleged links with Maoist ultras on December 24, 2010.

Maoist ideologue Narayan Sanyal and Kolkata based businessman Piyush Guha were also convicted under the same law.

As a doctor, Sen had won international fame for running clinics for poor villagers in the tribal regions of the country.

He has also been critical of government-backed tribal militia named Jalwa Judam to battle the Maoists. (ANI)

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