Raipur : Booker winner Arundhati Roy Monday slammed the Chhattisgarh government for the continuous detention of Binayak Sen, a doctor-turned-human rights activist, who has been in jail for the last 22 months for his alleged Maoist links.
Sen was arrested May 14, 2007 under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act (CSPSA), which Roy said “has a vague, diffused definition of ‘unlawful activity’.
“It (the act) renders every person guilty unless he or she can prove their innocence,” Roy told reporters at Raipur Press Club.
Sen was held in Bilaspur town and is facing treason and other charges in a court after the Chhattisgarh High Court and the Supreme Court rejected his bail plea. Sen has been lodged at the Raipur Central Jail here since his arrest.
“There is very little doubt that Sen is in prison because he spoke out against the policy of the state government, because he opposed the formation of the Salwa Judum. His incarceration is meant to silence dissent, and criminalise democratic space,” the writer-activist said.
“It is meant to create a wall of silence around the civil war in Chhattisgarh. It is meant to absorb all our attention so that the stories of the hundreds of other nameless, faceless people – those without lawyers, without the attention of journalists – who are starving and dying in the forests, go unnoticed and unrecorded.”