Family rejoices as Binayak Sen gets bail (Lead)

May 25th, 2009 - 4:52 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Raipur, May 25 (IANS) The family of rights activist Binayak Sen rejoiced as the Supreme Court Monday granted him bail after more than two years in a Chhattisgarh jail for alleged but unproven links to Maoist rebels.
“Finally justice has been done. He has been in jail for two years without a shred of evidence against him,” his brother Dipankar Sen told IANS by phone.

Dipankar, a trader in the commodities market in Antwerp, Belgium, is currently in India 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 wife Ilina and daughter Pranhita flew in to Raipur from Mumbai as soon as the news of the court order came.

“I am extremely relieved that this ordeal of two years has finally ended. Justice has prevailed. This is the victory of the legal system,” Ilina told IANS on arriving at Raipur. Binayak has been lodged at the Raipur Central Jail.

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 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.

Binayak, 59, who is the national vice-president of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, was held at Bilaspur town May 14, 2007 under the stringent Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act. He was later shifted to Raipur Central Jail.

Binayak’s family has always vehemently denied charges of any links to the Maoists.

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