Civil rights activist Binayak Sen, who is serving life sentence after being convicted of sedition by a Raipur court on December 24, could enjoy his supper with his family in his home here on Monday after a gap of nearly four months, thanks to Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh, who asked his officials to “keep their hands off” the doctor by rejecting their suggestions to contest the bail granted to him by Supreme Court on December 15.
Sources in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) here told this newspaper here on Tuesday that Mr Singh refused to heed suggestions by his officials to file a review petition in the top court opposing its decision to grant bail to the social activist, “at least to delay his release”, saying, “We must ensure that Mr Sen fights a fair legal battle against his conviction.”
Highly placed sources in the state home department said senior officers tried to convince the chief minister that Mr Sen’s release would come as a shot in the arm for Maoist sympathisers and demoralise the security forces, who are currently engaged in intense battle with the Left-wing guerrillas in jungles of Chhattisgarh.
“The worst fallout of Dr Sen’s release from prison would be the rights activists, who have since been kept under check in Chhattisgarh, would be emboldened to take up issues of rebels under the garb of human rights violations in the state. Once the rights activists break free, it would be impossible for the government to rein in them,” the officials reportedly said.
The chief minister, however, shot down their suggestions, apparently buckling under the sustained campaign by social activists, academicians and intellectuals from India and abroad to free the jailed activist, the sources revealed. Asian Age