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PUCL, June 2007

Arrest of Dr. Binayak Sen, Piyush Guha and Rajendra Sail

-- By Kavita Srivastva, PUCL National VP

Chronology of events

28 December 2005
Narayan Sanyal disappeared from Raipur, family got in touch with PUCL, which advises them to do a habeas corups in Chhattisgarh High Court.

1st week of January 2006
Habeas corpus of Sanyal in CG High Court. Family is present. Government of CG says they do not have in custody, but AP police declare they have arrested him in Khammam.

Narayan Sanyal is not heard from, there are cases pending against him in AP, he is granted bail in AP (mid-2006).
CG government slaps murder (302) accusation on him.
Bhishma Kinger is given Sanyal’s case.
Narayan Sanyal’s brother, Madhav Sanyal, begins to come to meet the lawyer. He also meets Binayak Sen, comes home, brings money.

September 2006
Madhav Sanyal has a bypass surgery. Informs Binayak that he cannot come but that he will be sending funds with Piyush Guha, a tendu patta businessman in Raipur.
Piyush Guha is introduced to Binayak in this context, brings money and other things, like clothes, for Narayan Sanyal, which are given to him in jail.
While Sanyal is in jail in Raipur, Binayak visits him. Sanyal has medical condition in his hands, Binayak facilitates treatment.

1 May 2007
Piyush Guha was supposed to bring money for Sanyal’s lawyer and meet Binayak in a Raipur hotel (Mahindra?) at 8 pm. Binayak goes to hotel at 8 pm and Piyush is not there.. Goes back at 8.30 and hotel staff says that Piyush has checked out.

2 May 2007

Binayak leaves for Kolkata on a family visit. Piyush’s family gets in touch with Binayak to tell him that Piyush has gone missing. Binayak advises them to contact Rajendra Sail, as Binayak is out of town.

5-6 May 2007
West Bengal police visit Piyush’s house in Murshidabad. Family is very worried, and contacts Rajendra Sail again. Mr. Sail releases press statement, faxes to press at 3 pm on 6 May. At 7 pm, SP holds press conference announcing arrest of Piyush on the same day at 4 pm.

7 May 2007
Smear campaign against Binayak in the press begins, saying that he was couriering letters from Sanyal to Naxals (the three letters from Piyush), and that he has absconded once this link was discovered. Journalists call Binayak up in Kolkata to ask his story. He says that he is not absconding, that his phone number is available if police want to call him. There is news that he will be arrested upon return. Piyush is produced in court and remanded to police custody. He declares in court that he has arrested on 1 May, not 6 May.

13 May 2007
Binayak Sen leaves Kolkata as per schedule.

14 May 2007
Binayak Sen arrives in Bilaspur. Is talking to his lawyer on his mobile when police arrive. Police say they want to talk to him, and Binayak responds that he has returned to attend his clinic on 15 May. The police say they only want to take his statement, lure him to the police station and arrest him.
Newspaper reports claim that he was arrested in his lawyer’s office, which is false.

15 May 2007

Binayak is sent to transit remand and judicial custody. Bail application put up in the CJM court and rejected.
Dr. Ilina Sen’s farmhouse is raided illegally.

16 May 2007

Delhi team meets Home Minister Shivraj Patil.

17 May 2007
Ilina Sen returns, meets Binayak in jail, and files complaint about illegal search.

18 May 2007
Binayak is produced in court. Police demand police custody, which Binayak’s lawyers oppose, and he is sent back to judicial custody till 22 May. Demands to see FIR, but is not shown. Police demand to search the house. The court orders the house search in the presence of independent witnesses with Ilina Sen.

19 May 2007

House search takes place. Seizure list enclosed. No incriminating documents found.

21 May 2007
Raipur team meets CG governor and presents memorandum.

22 May 2007
Both Binayak and Piyush produced in court. Judicial remand extended to 5 June. Court orders CPU searched in the presence of independent witnesses, one computer expert and the lawyer of the accused. Bail application of Binayak Sen filed.

24 May 2007
Bail hearing scheduled, but postponed by one day. Demonstration by 250 people.
Rajendra Sail arrested in Raipur by heavily armed police to serve seven-day simple imprisonment, pending since 2005.

25 May 2007
Bail hearing held, bail for Dr. Binayak Sen denied. State of CG alleges that he is a threat to the security of the state.

26 May 2007
Meeting held in Delhi at Gandhi Peace Forum organized by coalition of democratic groups.

28 May 2007

Rally by some people’s organizations in Raipur.

30 May
Anticipatory bail petition of Dr. Ilina Sen filed at Raipur, following newspaper reports about her alleged involvement in case.

31 May 2007
Mass meeting organized by PUCL, Raipur.
Support demonstrations at Delhi, Mumbai, Coimbatore, Lucknow and other locations in Delhi.
Delegation of doctors and human rights activists meet the Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary, Law.

3 June 2007
All-party meeting at Raipur against the CSPSA organized by Jan Manch at the initiative of Arun Bhadra, Youth Congress.
Piyush Guha taken away by WB police for interrogation by police in connection with a 5-year-old case in Purulia.

4 June 2007
Protest meetings organized by APDR in Kolkata and rural areas in Bengal.

5 June 2007
Anticipatory bail application of Dr. Ilina Sen got adjourned by state.

5 June 2007
Dr. Binayak Sen produced in court. He gives a statement describing the circumstances of his arrest and rebutting the police version.

6 June 2007
Dr. Ilina Sen receives a letter from B.B.S. Rajput, IO, regarding dispatch of CPU for analysis at CFSL, Hyderabad.

7 June 2007
Adv. Saurabh Dangi is intimated regarding analysis of CPU. Being at Bhopal, he expresses inability to reach before 9 June.

5 June 2007
Anticipatory bail application of Dr. Ilina Sen got adjourned by state.

8 June 2007
Bail application of Binayak Sen filed in High Court, Bilaspur.

9-11 June 2007
Adv. Dangi remains at Hyderabad. Owing to the unavailability of the Director, he meets he Addl. Director on 11 June, who expresses no knowledge of court order or analysis of CPU. Adv. Dangi hands over an application for copy of the hard disk. Since director is on leave, Adv. Dangi returns to Bilaspur.

10-12 June 2007

Villagers and patients of Dr. Binayak Sen in village Khekra Kholi, Block Nagri, Dist. Dhamtari, were terrorized by the police since they were demanding release of Dr. Binayak Sen.

11 June 2007
In the course of Ilina Sen’s anticipatory bail hearing, IO B.B.S. Rajput states that there is no material on record against her. When confronted with newspaper cuttings, denies having made any statement to the press. Consequently, Dr. Ilina Sen’s anticipatory bail petition withdrawn by her advocate.
Binayak Sen’s bail application heard in motion. Adjourned till 18 June.

17 June 2007
Autonomous women’s groups from all over India and Chhattisgarh hold press conference and demonstration in Raipur.

18 June 2007
Binayak Sen’s bail application admitted. Fixed for final hearing on 4 July.
Report of Adv. Dangi regarding analysis of CPU filed in CJM’s court.

19 June 2007
Dr. Sen not produced in court claiming unavailability of police escort.
Narayan Sanyal made co-accused in same case. Additional charges filed under Secs. 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 121-A (waging war against the state) and 124-A (sedition).
State files an application stating that the report of analysis of Dr. Sen’s CPU has been presented by CFSL
The jail authorities class him as hardcore criminal and demanded additional armed forces every time he is taken out of prison to be presented in court.

People's Union for Civil Liberties, 81 Sahayoga Apartmrnts, Mayur Vihar I, Delhi 110091, India. Phone (91) 11 2275 0014