Narayan Sanyal and Piyush Guha and Dr. Sen have been awarded a life term for their conspiracy to “spread hatred, contempt and disaffection towards the Indian government”.
Yet, the judge acquitted them of charges of waging war against the state under Section 121 A of the Indian Penal Code. Does the supposed spreading of hatred and disaffection deserve such a sentence, then? You can knock on any door of the homes of the less privileged and sometimes the privileged and will find people who express contempt for the government and the functioning of the state. They may also have copies of dissident literature.
The judgement is not concerned about those who do not come in the eye of the storm. The reasoning for the verdict is faulty:
“At present, terrorist and Maoist organizations are ruthlessly and mercilessly killing central paramilitary and police forces as well as innocent adivasis, and spreading fear and terror among the society, state and country. Taking this into account, it will not be right to show any generosity towards the accused, or reduce their sentence.”
People who have been in prison are first accused of waging war, then imprisoned. The killings of paramilitary forces happened in their absence. Dr. Sen has not called for a war. He has not incited people nor made incendiary remarks, although he is well within his rights to have an opinion, especially if it is not just for the heck of it. If the judiciary feels so strongly about not showing generosity, then let it declare that it is making an example of the man. He is not culpable. Find out how many adivasis and police personnel have been killed because of the tacit support given by him and his two colleagues.
PS: It is not my case here that people should not be tried, but on what basis? I have earlier even mentioned that if NGOs and human rights organisations are under suspicion based on specific instances of wrongdoing, including financial support from dubious sources, then the cases must be looked into.
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I have often expressed my views on the futility of petitions. I have probably signed not more than five petitions in my life. This one I have (#811).
I do not belong to any organisation affiliated with this case or even otherwise, but if you believe in what it says, what you believe to be right and think you wish to add your voice, then you can sign here: