Kolkata intellectuals to fight for Binayak Sen’s release


Kolkata: Intellectuals, politicians and social activists in West Bengal Monday condemned the life sentence awarded to noted rights activist Binayak Sen and demanded his immediate release.

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“The judge has not given a verdict for the life imprisonment of Dr Sen. He has given a verdict for the death of Indian democracy,” said singer-turned Trinamool Congress Member of Parliament (MP) Kabir Suman.

Binayak Sen was sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court in Chhattisgarh on charges of sedition, criminal conspiracy and links with Maoists.

Tarun Mondal, MP of SUCI, echoing the words said: “The verdict has gone against democracy. We will take initiative in the parliament and outside parliament to free Binayak Sen.”

They were speaking at a media meet where politicians, human rights activists, artists and intellectuals convened under the banner of Forum of Artists Cultural Activists and Intellectuals demanding immediate release of Sen.

Right activist Medha Patkar said: “It is not a legal or a judicial judgment but a political statement,”

Other personalities like filmmaker Aparna Sen, painter Suvaprassana, poet Joy Goswami and activist Tarun Sanyal and theatre personality Kaushik Sen evoked their personal relationship with Binayak Sen and said that he is a professional with ethics and code of conduct.

Aparna Sen called the sentencing a travesty of democracy and said there was no option for the intellectuals but to protest against the verdict.

“Sen is a true patriot who has given up a comfortable life and worked among the poorest of poor making health and other basic facilities available to them,’ said painter Shuvaprassana.

The activists also threatened to launch a movement against the judgment.

A piece written by of Anasuya Sen – Binayak Sen’s mother – was read out at the media meet, where she had described how her son has worked for the cause of the tribals. The octogenarian mother also said that she is feeling both proud and sad for her son.