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Family rejoices Binayak Sen's freedom

National, Mon, 25 May 2009 IANS

New Delhi/Raipur, May 25 (IANS) Rights activist Binayak Sen's family rejoiced over a Supreme Court order Monday granting him bail after two years in jail for alleged Maoist links. His wife Ilina said the court order was 'delayed' but ended her 'personal ordeal'.


'I am very happy that my personal ordeal is over. The judiciary has stood up for what is correct. He was held on trumped up charges,' Ilina told IANS by phone after arriving in Raipur.



Binayak, an award-winning paediatrician and vice president of People's Union for Civil Liberties, was held at Bilaspur town in Chhattisgarh May 14, 2007 under the stringent Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act for his alleged links with Maoist guerrillas, a charge he, his family and activists vehemently deny.



He is presently lodged in Raipur Central Jail.



Ilina and daughter Pranhita flew in to Raipur from Mumbai as soon as the news of the court order came.



'Justice has prevailed. This is the victory of the legal system,' Ilina said.



When asked if her husband would continue working for public health in tribal areas of Chhattisgarh, she said: 'I know that the health services that he was providing have suffered in the last two years. But at the moment I am waiting for him to be released and want him to recover from his health problems.'



Binayak's brother Dipanker said: 'Finally justice has been done. He has been in jail for two years without a shred of evidence against him.'



Dipankar, a trader in the commodities market in Antwerp, Belgium, is currently in New Delhi and has been fighting for his brother's freedom. He also thanked the people who continued to fight for Binayak, who is a doctor by profession.



'I am overwhelmed at the decision of the Supreme Court and we thank people of the country, especially journalists, who have supported us in our fight,' he said.



Binayak's younger daughter Aparajita, who is in Delhi, said she cannot wait for the 'scattered family' of four to be united.



'I am just too happy - I am speechless. This is our victory and a great time for family and friends,' Aparajita told IANS.



A class 12 student in Mumbai, she was in the capital Monday for a National School of Drama workshop.



'The first thing I will do when he is out - will be to sit with him and spend as much time as possible as I can... as much as I want,' an excited Aparajita said.



Recalling the family's struggle in the past two years, she said: 'It was unfair! My mother, sister and I have spent the last two years in struggle and hoping... it was painful living without my father and knowing he was in jail,' she sighed.



'The four of us were scattered - my sister and I in Mumbai, my mother in Nagpur and my father there in Raipur. I am so happy now. We were anxiously waiting for this - my mother was running around - shuttling between cities, trying to balance her work and the case.'



'The family will finally be united,' she said.


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