Public pressure mounts against the arrest of Binayak Sen
People from not only Chattisgarh but across India and abroad have demonstrated support and signed on-line petition campaign demanding action against the unlawful imprisonment by the state since 14 May 2007 of Dr Binayak Sen. Dr Binayak Sen is the General Secretary of the Chhattisgarh PUCL (People's Union for Civil Liberties) and also the Vice-President of the National PUCL. Dr Sen has been a tireless crusader working towards an alternative health system responsive to the needs of the poor.
Dr Sen, a medical doctor from
"Dr Binayak Sen should be immediately released unconditionally by the state" said noted social activist and Magsaysay Awardee (2002) Dr Sandeep Pandey, who heads National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM). "Binayak Sen has made commendable contribution in responding to healthcare needs of the most underserved communities over decades now, and has brought hope and empowerment to tribal communities of Chattisgarh by strengthening people's voices to safeguard their rights and civil liberties" remarked Dr Pandey.
Dr Sen had a distinguished medical career in CMC Vellore, graduating in Medicine and later acquiring an MD in Paediatrics. From 1976 to 1978, he was a faculty member at the Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health at the
Binayak worked with mine workers in Dalli Rajahara towards addressing their health needs, helping them set up and manage their own
Binayak has been active and effective in defending the liberties of the disadvantaged, especially through the PUCL. He has served as the General Secretary of the State PUCL Committee for the past five years and as Vice President of the National Committee for the last three years. As General Secretary of the Chhattisgarh PUCL, he helped organize fact finding campaigns into human rights violations in the state including custody deaths, fake encounters, hunger deaths, dysentery epidemics and malnutrition.
In recent times he has worked intensively to bring large scale oppression and mal-governance within the so called Salwa Judoom in Dantewara to national and international attention.
The state had earlier failed to save the life of a dedicated frontline activist Shankar Guha Niyogi years ago. People around the world are outraged by the unlawful arrest of Dr Sen and very concerned about safety and dignity of Dr Sen in custody. More than 100 days have passed since Dr Sen was imprisoned. It also puts a question mark on our democracy where voices of pro-poor activists are stifled by the state in one of the most outrageous manner. Hope the vanguards of justice are listening.