“We don't want to enter into a discussion, but a day will come when the court will examine the expenditure made by the State in urban and tribal areas — how tribals have been cheated for more than 65 years; how their rights have been violated. The cry of the poor hasn't been heard. The response isn't adequate for them. Exploited, they take the law into their own hands,” the two judge bench of Justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukhopadhayay in the Supreme Court. It was hearing the bail plea of 78-year-old Narayan Sanyal, serving life term for what the Raipur session’s court ruled were grave offences including waging war against the State.
“Keeping in view the age of Sanyal, who is 78 years old, and has been in jail for more than six years, we are granting him bail. Accordingly, his sentence will also remain suspended,” the Bench said, asking him to furnish a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh before the trial court.
An activist of the banned CPI (Maoist) Sanyal along with Piyush Guha and veteran social activist Binayak Sen was sentenced to life in by a local court in Chhattisgarh in 2010 under the draconian Chhattisgarh Public Security Act(CPSA) and the sedition law. Activists have been arguing for long that both these provisions have been misused by the state government to target anyone who has raised a voice of dissent against the corporate driven policies of the Chief Minister Raman Singh’s BJP government.
Hundreds of tribals are reported to be languishing in jail on what many have alleged are ‘cooked-up’ charges. Even activists are routinely imprisoned, even tortured in police custody. All opposition in the state is crushed using these draconian provisions.
The shocking case of a tribal teacher Soni Sori, who was tortured and brutalised with stones shoved in her private parts was a gory reminder of the shocking situation in Chhattisgarh. Her mother breathed her last yesterday, after waiting for her release from prison. Ankit Garg, the Superintendent of Police who Sori has alleged was behind the ghastly act of torture was lauded by the State instead and a presidential medal was conferred on him. Perhaps, a clear message that the government is indeed on the side of those who have no respect for human life or the dignity of a woman.
It is indeed still a long fight for the tribals and activist fighting for the rights.