RESOLUTION: Immediately release Dr Binayak Sen from detention

RESOLUTION: Immediately release Dr Binayak Sen from detention

(This resolution was passed at the Third National Convention of Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) during 1-3 February 2008 in Nagpur, India)

The Third National Convention of the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace expresses its deep sense of anguish and outrage at the continued detention of Dr.Binayak Sen by the State of Chhattisgarh under draconian laws, which deprive its victims of the basic rights enshrined in the Constitution of India. Dr.Sen is the General Secretary of Peoples' Union for Civil Rights, Chhattisgarh, a member of the Medico Friends Circle, and one of those who has played a leading role in founding the CNDP. Dr.Sen, a medical doctor by profession, has not only dedicated his professional life to serve the medical needs of the poor and the needy in one of the most backward areas of the country but also is one with inexhaustible energy and enthusiasm for all the other causes to which he has expressed his commitment. Dr.Sen has been an unrelenting champion of human rights, a crusader against economic & social exploitation of the tribal population, a steadfast campaigner against bureaucratic corruption, and a staunch opponent of communalism. Above all, Dr.Sen is an unswerving activist for the cause of disarmament and peace.

Dr.Sen graduated with distinction from the prestigious Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, and later completed his MD there in 1974. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to society, in 2004, Dr.Sen received the Paul Harrison award for lifetime work of medical care in the service of humanity, an award given annually by the CMC to one of its alumni. It is this medical professional and social activist, who has been recognised as "a role model for the students and staff of CMC", who was arrested on 14 May 2007 allegedly for "unlawful activities", which were supposedly "threatening public security". Dr.Sen has been detained since then on utterly infounded charges. In wilful violation of the basic rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India, the State of Chhatisgarh is hell bent on detaining Dr.Sen by hook or by crook because it is terribly fearful of Dr.Sen's persistent activities, which would have totally exposed the misdeeds and misdemeanours of the State Government and its hangers-on.

It is a crying shame that one of India's most dedicated and committed medical practitioner and social activist should be languishing in jail in solitary confinement for the past several months and denied basic rights that are otherwise available to political prisoners. Dr.Sen has not only been denied the opportunity to use his professional expertise to treat other co-prisoners in the overcrowded jail – who have little access to adequate medical needs – but also he has no way of preventing deterioration of his professional skills due to prolonged disuse. What is equally worse is the fact that Dr.Sen has been denied adequate access to everyday news and information, which are vital to an intellectual of his stature and calibre in this age of information.

The Third National Convention of the CNDP, hereby, calls upon all concerned citizens of this country to join us in seeking the immediate release of Dr.Binayak Sen, who is a victim of gross injustice. If we fail to vehemently contest and vociferously oppose the arbitrary violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India and fail to put an end to such blatant violations without further delay, we would be guilty of slowly and surely aiding and abetting the destruction of democracy in this country.

The CNDP wishes to take this opportunity to express its wholehearted solidarity and support to Dr.Sen's partner, Dr.Ilina Sen – a member of the National Co-ordination Committee, CNDP – and their two daughters in this hour of trial and pledges to do all it can to rally wider support to ensure the immediate release of the honourable and respected Dr.Binayak Sen.

Peace is doable.