Sen gets life for ‘knowing, helping’ Naxalites
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The trial court's verdict sentencing Binayak Sen to life in prison for sedition is entirely based on his links with Naxalites and his "help" to some of them.
A close reading of the 92-page order of the Second Additional District and Sessions Judge V P Varma shows that the court refers to: Sen's meetings with jailed Naxalite leader Narayan Sanyal; his attempt to pass on three letters written by Sanyal to unspecified people in Kolkata; and his helping some "hardcore Naxalites" to open bank accounts, get jobs and rented accommodation.
Also cited as evidence is the recovery from Sen of newspaper clippings on the Naxal movement and a magazine with interviews of Naxal leaders Ganapati and Kishenji. The verdict is silent on which specific Naxal act or conspiracy Sen was involved in.
The verdict's "reasons" for holding Sen — and Sanyal and Kolkata businessman Piyush Guha — guilty of sedition:
In paragraphs 54 and 55, the judgment cites the statement of one S R Thakur, the then deputy jailor at Raipur jail, giving the dates of 12 meetings that Sen had with Sanyal in jail. Thakur says that Sen claimed to be a relative of Sanyal and wanted to discuss "household matters". Jailor P K S Chauhan (Para 56) gives another set of 19 dates on which Sen met Sanyal, again posing as a relative.
In Para 36, Inspector Sher Singh Bande told the court that the Chhuria police station, adjoining the Maharashtra border, often hosts state committee and central committee meetings of Naxalite leaders and that Sen and his wife Ilina Sen used to attend these meetings.
Inspector B S Jagrit and Sub-Inspector Ravindra Upadhaya (Paras 12 to 15) mention the arrest of Piyush Guha from near Raipur railway station. Their statements talk about the recovery from Guha of Naxal literature, Rs 49,000 in cash and three letters written by Sanyal to be delivered to people in Kolkata. The police officers claim that Guha told them the letters had been handed to them by Sen.
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