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My family is not safe in India, says Binayak Sen's wife

Last updated on: January 3, 2011 19:26 IST

My family is not safe in India, says Binayak Sen's wife

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Jailed rights activist Binayak Sen's wife on Monday said it appeared that the only recourse left to her is to seek political asylum in some 'liberal' democratic country as she felt that her family is not safe in India.

Addressing a press meet in Delhi, academician Ilina Sen alleged that the judgement convicting her husband on charges of sedition appeared to be to stem dissent in the bud.


Image: A file photograph of Dr Binayak Sen's wife Ilina and daughter Pranhita
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh
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'I will only get his dead body'

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"After the verdict, they are targeting me. I am concerned about my two daughters, aged 25 years and 20 years. I am really worried about them. If the state government does not allow Sen to be freed, I will only get his dead body, as life imprisonment means that he will be in jail till the end of his life. I need to stay out. I would like to live my life fully. We have gone through colossal agony," Ilina said.

Image: Dr Binayak Sen at the court in Raipur
Photographs: Reuters
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Sen accused of sedition

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Sen, Naxal ideologue Narayan Sanyal and Kolkata businessman Piyush Guha were sentenced to life imprisonment in December by a court in Raipur for sedition and colluding with Maoists to establish a network to fight the State.

Sen, a paediatrician by training and vice-president of the People's Union of Civil Liberties, had been accused of acting as courier for Sanyal, who was in jail, by carrying his messages and letters to the underground Maoists.


Image: A demonstrator holds a placard as he shouts slogans during a protest demanding the release of Dr Binayak Sen
Photographs: Ajay Verma/Reuters
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'The faith has been shattered'

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"The whole thing is manufactured somewhere else. I may be guilty of contempt of court. Please take me in. The only recourse that seems to be available to me is to walk into some embassy of a liberal democracy and ask for political asylum. I am not safe in this country," an emotional Ilina said.

Noting that the judgement has come as a 'complete shock', she claimed, "During the trial, many people asked us to approach the court to seek transfer of the trial from the state. We believed that a fair trial was possible. The faith has been shattered."


Image: Protesters hold placards during a protest demanding the release of Dr Binayak Sen
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
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'It is illegal to have friends with Muslim names'

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Countering allegations raised by the prosecution that she was an agent of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence, she said, "I have friends with Muslim names (like) Ali Asghar, Saifullah Choudhury. I and Binayak have friends who have Muslim names and I am proud of that. But somehow it seems that it is illegal to have friends with Muslim names in this country."

Ilina said the court did not take into account several points raised by the defence, including the testimony of jailors who said that the meetings Sen had with Sanyal were supervised. She also claimed that the prosecution could not establish that Sen and Guha had met.


Image: Protesters hold placards during a protest demanding the release of Dr Binayak Sen
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh
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