Raipur, May 25 (IANS) Human rights activists in Chhattisgarh broke out into celebrations Monday after Binayak Sen, jailed for over two years under unproven charges of links with Maoists, was granted bail by the Supreme Court. They, however, termed it 'delayed justice'.
Sen, an award-winning paediatrician and a civil rights activist, was jailed May 14, 2007 for his alleged links with Maoist guerrillas, a charge he, his family and activist friends vehemently deny.
The 59-year-old Sen, national vice-president of the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), was held at Bilaspur town May 14, 2007 under the stringent Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act. He is presently lodged in the Raipur Central Jail.
'This is good news, but it is delayed by two years. Justice should have been done by granting him (Sen) bail two years ago,' Rajendra K. Sail, president of the Chhattisgarh PUCL, told IANS.
'The denial of bail previously was totally unjust and not in accordance with the law,' he added.
Gautam Kumar Bandyopadhyay, a rights activist and convenor of NGO Nadi Ghati Morcha, described Sen's bail as a 'victory of human rights' in Chhattisgarh.
'It's the victory of human rights in the state. Sen's bail is a blow to the state's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, which is targeting people who try and raise (their voice) against human rights violations in Chhattisgarh,' said Bandyopadhyay, who had led several protests here since Sen's arrest.
The state government has kept silent over the apex court's decision.