PUCL activists demand
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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 31, 2007
PUCL activists demand release of an arrested social worker in Chhattisgarh
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PUCL activists demand release of an arrested social worker in Chhattisgarh

Activists of Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) on Thursday called for an immediate release of a social worker arrested for allegedly sympathizing with the Maoists in Chhattisgarh.

Raipur, May 31 : Activists of People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) on Thursday called for an immediate release of a social worker arrested for allegedly sympathizing with the Maoists in Chhattisgarh.

PUCL activists staged a demonstration outside the secretariat of Chhattisgarh protesting the arrest of a renowned doctor Binayak Sen.

"Binayak Sen's arrest is an example of the fact that the state, which was carved out to benefit the tribals is doing just the opposite. There are projects, which are not just going against the development of the state, but people who are working peacefully for the benefit of the people here are being apprehended unlawfully," said Medha Patkar, a social activist.

Supporters of Sen, who has been jailed in Raipur, claimed he has been victimized for criticizing the anti-Maoist Sawal Jadum movement.

"We have come here to express concern not only for his safety, but also for the manner in which he is being prosecuted, with the demand from across the country that charges against him be dropped and he be released. We gave a representation to the Chief Secretary, had a small discussion with the Chief Secretary and Law Secretary. The Chief Secretary gave us a very patient hearing and they said they will look into the representation and take action," said V. Suresh, President of People's Union for Civil Liberties, Tamil Nadu faction.

Sen, a paediatrician, has been working in the villages of the state to evolve a low cost health plan for the locals. He is also one of the most vociferous critics of the Salwa Judum movement, government-sponsored movement to counter the Maoists and staged killings in the state.

Police arrested him under the Special Public Security Act 2005 and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, citing he had supported the Maoists operating in the state.

Chhattisgarh is one of the worst affected states by Maoist violence. Over 40,000 tribal people have been moved to inadequate government camps in the state. A human rights group says there is an "unacknowledged civil war" in the area.

ANI

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