Binayak Sen walks free from prison

Additional Sessions Judge BP Verma directed Sen to surrender his passport as a bail condition.

Updated: Apr 19, 2011, 00:57 AM IST

Raipur: After remaining behind bars for
nearly four months, civil rights activist Binayak Sen was
released this evening from the Chattisgarh`s central prison
where he is serving a life sentence, three days after the
Supreme Court granted him bail.

The 61-year-old old medical doctor, who was sentenced to
life by a local court on charges of sedition and links with
Maoists, was reunited with his family amid emotional and
poignant scenes, as his two daughters--Aparajita and Pranhita
--jumped on to him and were locked in a tight embrace.

Sen was also hugged and kissed by his mother Anusuya who
said he looked "fine."

Hours before he walked free out of his cell in the
Raipur prison, Additional District and Sessions Judge BP Verma
directed Sen to surrender his passport as a bail condition in
line with the Supreme Court order and that he be released on a
personal bond and surety of Rs 50,000 each.

Verma also ordered Sen not to leave the country and
appear in the High Court during hearings as and when required.

Sen has been lodged in the prison since December 24
when he was convicted and sentenced to life.

Clad in his trademark kurta-pyjama, Sen smiled and
waved to hundreds of his supporters who had gathered in front
of the prison where hordes of newsmen and photographes jostled
with each other to get a vantage point. Chaos prevailed with
his supporters and mediamen trying to get close to him.

"I am very very happy today. I wish everybody should be
happy as I am this evening. We just hugged each other. I
kissed him," Anusuya said.

Anusuya said her son smiled and said nothing but looked
fine.

"He looked fine. He looked very happy. He smiled. He
said nothing. We were emotionally spellbound. We couldn`t say
anything. Today is a special day," she added.

Verma`s direction on Monday came after Sen`s counsel
Mahendra Dubey submitted that the apex court order had left it
to the court here to impose the conditions for Sen`s release
on bail.

"We have struggled for long. We will continue to work
for the tribals," Sen`s wife Ilina, who was present in the
court along with their daughter and other activists, said.

Sen`s life sentence had triggered an outcry both
within and outside the coutnry.

The Supreme Court had used strong words on Friday in
rubbishing the grounds for his conviction. "No case of
sedition is made out against him and the evidence is
baseless," said the bail order of judges HS Bedi and CK
Prasad.

"Distribution and circulation and even possession of
(Maoist ideology and propaganda material) does not amount to
sedition," the court said.

"Even in the worst case scenario, that he (Sen) was in
possession of these documents, does not make him guilty of
sedition," it had said.

PTI