Raipur: Rights activist Binayak Sen, accused of links with Maoists, was Friday convicted for sedition and conspiracy by a court here. He was awarded life sentence.
District and Sessions Court judge BP Varma found Sen guilty on a variety of counts such as under 124 A and 120 B of the Indian Penal Code and also under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act. Sen, a medical doctor, had been out on bail since last year, is now under arrest.
As per the prosecution, Sen was involved in establishing an urban network for the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist).
Two others were also held guilty and awarded life sentences by the court today in the same case. They are Maoist ideologue Narayan Sanyal Narayan Sanyal and Kolkata based businessman Piyush Guha – both are already under arrest.
Piyush Guha is said to have been arrested in 2007 from Raipur. As per reports, several papers and magazines related to the Naxalite movement was recovered from him and he during interrogation named Dr Sen as the conduit between Sanyal and the underground Maoists.
The Chhattisgarh Police has termed the conviction of Dr Sen and others as a major achievement in its fight against the Naxals.
58-year-old Sen was picked up in May 2007 from Bilaspur under the stringent Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act. He was released in May 2009 on the order of the Supreme Court.
Reacting to the verdict, Dr Sen’s lawyer Mahendra Dube said that he was not satisfied and will advise his client to appeal in the higher court.
Meanwhile, right activists are protesting the verdict as they say that authorities trapped Sen - a gold medallist in medicine, Dr Sen is the vice president of the left-leaning organisation People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and was awarded with the Jonathan Mann award for Global Rights and Human Rights in 2008.
"I lost my voice, please leave me," his distraught brother Dipankar Sen, in tears, told mediapersons at the court complex.
Kavita Srivastava, the People`s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) national general secretary, reacted angrily.
"This is a fabricated case by the Chhattisgarh government and police. It is hard to believe the judgment. We will go for appeal," she said.
Said Rajendra K Sail, former PUCL president: "It is injustice, totally disappointing. There was no evidence against Sen. We will appeal."
The court here had completed its hearing last week. It began the trial in May 2008 and examined 97 witnesses.
With IANS inputs