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Notes on Binayak Sen case

Posted by Indian Vanguard on June 14, 2007

Since there appears to be some confusion about the exact status of the case against Binayak Sen, this note is being circulated to fill in the gaps in information.

1. Binayak has been in custody since 14.5.2007 in case FIR No. 44 of 2007 at Police Station Ganj, Raipur alleging offences under Sections 10(a)(1), 20, 21, 38, 39.2(b) & (d) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 and Section 2(b) (d), 8(1)(2)(5) of Chhattisgarh Vishesh Jan Suraksha Adhiniyam 2005.

2. The above FIR, in fact, was lodged on 6.5.2007 against Pijush Guha who was searched on suspicion at the Raipur Railway Station and found carrying three letters written by “some senior Commander of Naxalite Organization from jail to two other leaders of Naxalite Organization”, and Rs.49, 000/- in cash.

3. But Pijush Guha, at the first production before the Magistrate on 7.5.2007, recorded the fact that he had been illegally detained since 1.5.2007. It is upon a protest having been made regarding his illegal custody and a fax sent to the media in that connection, that this FIR was hurriedly recorded and the custody acknowledged in this illegal fashion six days later.

4. The FIR does not give any details of the dates of the letters, their contents, the names of the writers or the recipients, nor the name of any (banned) organisation that the writers or the recipients belong to. There is no recovery or search memo, or independent witnesses. The FIR, if filed correctly, should have contained these details. Even as per the prosecution, arguing before the Session’s Court, the letters speak of nothing more than mere boycott of the Lok Sabha elections.

5. The conjecture on which Binayak has been arrested is that he had carried the letters, which were allegedly recovered from Pijush Guha, from jail to Pijush Guha. This seems to be based on the fact that Binayak had made visits to the jail as part of his PUCL-based jail reforms and legal aid work. But all these visits were made with the express permission of the Deputy Superintendent of Police and Jail Superintendent and conducted in the presence of the jail officials.

6. Although not mentioned in the FIR, it was argued by the state during the hearing of Binayak’s bail application at the Session’s Court on 25.05.2007, that he had been helpful in getting a house on rent for Anita Srivastava, an academic from Allahabad University, who is now branded by the state as a Naxal. However, while Binayak denies being instrumental in procuring the house, this cannot be construed to be an “illegal” activity.

7. The Sessions Court, while rejecting bail, said that there was reason to believe that Binayak was acquainted with Narayan Sanyal, Anita Srivastava, and Pijush Guha. Pijush Guha had also given a custodial statement, but that cannot be used as evidence in a court. In this respect, the Sessions Court does not seem to have applied the well settled principles of law to determine whether mere acquaintanceship can lead to an inference of guilt.

8. As far as Narayan Sanyal goes, he is an undertrial prisoner held for offences under Sections 302 and 147 of the IPC, and not either under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act or the Chattisgarh Vishesh Jan Suraksha Adhiniyam – although Sanyal seems to be the pivot around which a spate of arrests has taken place recently under these two Acts. In fact, in January 2006 the State of Chattisgarh had stated before the High Court that he was not held by it. He was held in the State of AP and released on bail by the AP High Court but the State of Chattisgarh arrested him in connection with FIR 9/2005 in a pre-existing case.

9. The Sections under which Binayak is sought to be prosecuted are:? Being a member of an unlawful association, but the name and details of the organisation are not specified.? Being a member of a terrorist gang or organisation; again no details are given. ? Holding the proceeds of a terrorist act, which is not even alleged? Giving support to a terrorist organisation; again without substantiation. ? Soliciting contributions, and aiding an unlawful organisation, which is equally unsubstantiated.

10. In the search that was conducted of Binayak’s home on 19.5.2007, the police seized articles on jail reforms, the Naxal movements, and on American Imperialism, written in respectable journals. The police have made insinuating statements, carried widely by the media, that PUCL is an organisation supporting Naxals, and that Binayak was a virtual absconder. The truth is that PUCL is a perfectly legitimate organisation, and Binayak voluntarily went to the police station on his return from Kolkata, when he was arrested in spite of previous assurances by the police.

11. Binayak was produced before the court on 05.06.2007 and remanded to another 15 days in judicial custody. This was the first occasion on which the lawyer from Delhi (Nitya Ramakrishnan) could argue before the court and thus get an opportunity to inspect the entire case file. A petition for bail, prepared on the basis of the case file and the details given above, is now going to be filed before the High Court on 11.06.2007, at which time a date shall be fixed for the hearing.Some more updateThe bail petition for Binayak could not be filed before the High Court on Monday 11th even. It is now going to be filed tomorrow, 13th and the date for hearing will not be before 25th. This, apparently, is because there is a consensus amongst the laweyrs in Chhattisgarh that “that is the way the Courts function in Chhattisgarh and the High Court is not willing to give early hearings”.Ilina was also being threatened with arrest according to newspaper reports, but she now has got anticipatory bail yesterday because, when faced with the newspaper reports, the police made a statement in Court that they had no plans to arrest Ilina and the newspapers had printed their own version of the news.

By Dunu Roy

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Chhattisgarh: Dr. Ilina Sen’s letter to NHRC

Posted by Indian Vanguard on June 11, 2007

Related post Next target is Dr. llina sen.

Submission to the NHRC team investigating arrest of human rights Defender, Dr Binayak Sen.
7 June 2007

Since my return from Delhi on the 30th, I have had occasion to examine the court file in this case together with our lawyer, ms Nitya Ramachandran. To my horror, I found that letters from the Jail Supdt. to the district police establishment asking for security guards to escort Dr Sen to the court for extension of remand already refer to him as a hardcore naxalite prisoner. This is particularly shocking as neither has the chargesheet in the case been filed nor, understandably, the trial taken place. If the jail supdt draws this kind of conclusion unilaterally, it is only fair that we seek to discover the authority under which he does so. At the jail premises also, every time we visit Dr Sen, we are made to sign in a special register pertaining to naxalite prisoners. This is uncalled for and preposterous in a country where an accused is held to be innocent until proved guilty, and indicates the malafide intent of the state of Chhattisgarh in first identifying its victims, and then seeking to build up concocted cases against them.

In keeping with the pattern observed during the arrest of Dr Sen, in which a media vilification campaign was mounted prior to actual arrest, I found, after the 30th , that a similar campaign had been let loose against me alleging that my relationships and activities would be investigated I learnt today that a special investigating team led by a CSP has this morning visited my mother’s home in Kolkata and enquired about my antecedents and tried to find out WHY we chose to work in Chhattisgarh.

It is useful to point out that while both Dr Binayak Sen and I have been publicly critical of Salwa Judum and have drawn attention to its many repressive features ,our work has always been in the public sphere and completely overboard for the last 20 years and more. I believe that the right to hold dissenting political positions is a fundamental right guaranteed by the constitution, and that the state of Chhattisgarh is operating under a presumption that ‘you are either with us or against us’.

This is quite apart from the fact that any Indian citizen has the right to live and work in any part of India. The kind of monolithic thinking that the present government of Chhattisgarh holds is lethal to the democratic way of life. If this trend is allowed to continue, the Indian nation and national values will be destroyed from within quite without the assistance of the naxalites. The arrest of Dr Sen is a test case for Indian democracy.

I may be out of station after tomorrow, but will be happy to talk to the team on phone if they contact me on 94252-06875.

(Dr Ilina Sen) 7.6.07

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List of documents and digital material seized by the police from Binayk Sen’s home

Posted by Indian Vanguard on June 1, 2007

Here is the complete list of documents and digital material seized by the police from Binayk Sen’s home. He was also prevented from addressing the media to rebut the lies that the police chose to spread while addressing the press and media representatives gathered outside his home.

Although the police was claiming in front of the media that they had found some significant documents, a copy of the seizure memo enlisting all the material exposes the “white lie” of the police. These are as follows:

1. Five CDs, mostly pertaining to the various investigations regarding Fake Encounters in Gollapalli, Katgaon, Surguja, and Jharkhand, which were made during the PUCL investigations, and contain interviews with the concerned citizens. PUCL has been distributing these for the last two years.

2. The Computer CPU, yet to be examined by experts;

3. A post-card dated 3.6.2006 written to Dr. Binayak Sen by the CPI (Maoist) leader, Sri Narayan Sanyal lodged at the Raipur Central Jail, regarding his health as well as legal case, which is duly signed by the Jail authorities carrying the Seal of the Jail Authorities;

4. News-paper clippings dated 19.6.2006, 8.4.2006, 27.8.2006, 26.12.2006, 21.8.2006, 8.1.2007, 21.12.2006 (Total 10 paper cuttings)

5. A Yellow coloured booklet “ON THE UNITY BETWEEN CPI (Peoples’ War) AND MAOIST COMMUNIST CENTRE” in Hindi

6. A Letter written by Madanlal Banjare (a member of the CPI- Maoist) from Jail addressed to “Priya [dear] Comrade Binayak Sen” revealing the inhuman conditions and illegal activities in Raipur Central Jail. (PUCL NOTE: This letter was later sent to all newspapers and electronic media by the PUCL, and was prominently published in some newspapers);

7. A Xeroxed Article in English entitled: “Naxal Movement, Tribals and Women’s Movement”

(PUCL NOTE: This Article is based on a dialogue carried out in Andhra Pradesh during the period of the Peace Talks and was later published in the prestigious periodical Economic & Political Weekly, Mumbai)

8. A hand written photocopied note of 4 pages on “How to build an Anti-US Imperialist Front.”;

9. Eight page Article entitled: “KRANTIKARI JANWADI MORCHA (ITF) VAISHAVIKARAN AWAM BAHRTIYE SEVA KSHETRA; (Globalization and the Service Sector in India)

10. A recent document dated 18.7.06 of CPI (M) “Recent Police Activities and Labourers”. B.10;

11. A Book on ‘SALWA JUDUM :Bastar ki janata par Fasivadi hamla‘ [Salwa Judum: Fascist Attack on te People of Bastar] published by the Committee of Tribals affected by Salwa Juroom (48 pages); in which on page number 41 is a Press Release Maowadiyon aur Bhautiki Jan Samasyayon par Jari Barbarta sarkaar prayojit Salwa Judum ka Virodh Karo dated 11th March 2006 ( One page);

12. One issue of ‘Peoples’ March’ (December 2004)published from Ernakulam, Kerala, (Registration Number :RNI N0: KER/ENG 2000/2051)

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Chhattisgarh: Dr.Ilina is the latest target

Posted by Indian Vanguard on May 30, 2007

We invites all to join the huge rally protest of raipur on 31st. This will be a strong message to the repressive and undemoctaric state. . We hope you are already preparing to reach Raipur to join the voices of dissent.

Venue : KHALSA SCHOOL, near Pandri Bus stand, Pandri Accommodation: Pastoral Centre, near Holy Cross School, Baron Bazar Contact Person : Adv. Sudha Bhardwaj (mobile: 099266-03877)

Another major concern is about the threat of Dr. Ilina Sen getting arrested. This news is being spread by the CG police themselves and hence also the CG local press. Sources close to police confirm that they do plan to arrest her on the grounds of being owner of the house from where “incriminating evidence” was found.

This is ridiculous and should get on the nerves of anyone who has any allegiance to human rights or civil liberties. Friends, it is high-time we show the CG government that lawlessness and absolute human rights violations will not be tolerated by people. We hope the 31st programme becomes a common ground of this declaration.

However, the ground situation in Chhattisgarh continues to be extremely bad with more and more people’s movements and activists being targeted. Radheshyam Sharma is still in jail, but atleast he has ended his hunger strike and is not getting tortured compared to Piyush Guha or some others… Another issue is lack of pro-active legal support that is required from legal experts on HR issues and draconian legislations…

In Solidarity,
Vijayan MJ

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Thousands protest against black law & demands release of Dr. Binayk Sen

Posted by Indian Vanguard on May 29, 2007

Raipur 29 May, 2007
Thousands of workers, farmers, tribals, dalits, women, youth & children gathered in Raipur (Chhattisgarh) on 28th May 2007 to protest against the black law: Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005 (CSPSA) and the arrest of Dr. Binayak Sen, General Secretary of Chhattisgarh PUCL & Vice-President, National PUCL under the highly controversial provisions of the CSPSA. The daylong protest demonstration was organized by the United Front of Chhattisgarh People’s Movement that included Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha (CMM), Nadi Ghati Morcha, EKTA PARISHAD, Baiga Mahapanchayat, Chhattisgarh Mahila Jagriti Sangathan (CMJS) & Chhattisgarh Bal Shramik Sangathan (CBSS).

Close to 6 thousand people from all over Chhattisgarh participated in the daylong dharna, rally and public meeting raising their voice against the police harassment of the Human Rights & Social Activists working for the rights of the people, especially the tribals, dalits, women, bonded & child labourers, workers, farmers, minorities, etc. They also demanded that the Government should immediately stop their anti-people’s policies and adopt a pro-people’s agenda where the land, water, forest, seeds, and other natural resources are collectively owned by the people, and basic facilities like employment, health, education, drinking water, etc are made available to the people as their fundamental right & not a commodity.

Prominent amongst those who provided leadership at the United Protest Demonstration were Mr. Janak Lal Thakur, Mr. Sheikh Ansar & Mr. Ganesh Ram Chaudhary of CMM; Mr. Gautam,
of Nadi Ghati Morcha; Mr. Ratneshwar Nath of EKTA PARISHAD; Ms. Shashi Sail of CMJS, Mr. Lakhan Singh, Journalist, Mr. SK Patel of Mukti-Niketan & Ms. Kumud Nandgave of CBSS.

1. Withdraw all false cases against Dr. Binayak Sen and release him immediately.
2. Repeal the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005.
3. Stop police harassment of Human Rights & Social activists, media persons, intellectuals working for the rights of the people, especially the tribals, dalits, women, bonded & child
labourers, workers, farmers, minorities, etc.
4. Stop Salwa Judum & other anti-tribal activities, and withdraw Naga battalion, Mizo battalion & Central Security forces from Bastar.
5. Stop displacement from forest and implement Schedule Tribe and Traditional Forest Dwellers Land Rights Bill (Forest Rights Recognition Act) 2006.
6. The tribals of Bastar should have collective ownership over the natural resources of Bastar, and the attack on their democratic rights should be stopped immediately and the model of development should be based on the principles of social justice and equality.

A protest demonstration is also being organized on 31st May 2007 by the Chhattisgarh PUCL against the Black Laws and the arrest of Dr. Binayak Sen.

Venue : KHALSA SCHOOL, near Pandri Bus stand, Pandri Accommodation: Pastoral Centre, near Holy Cross School, Baron Bazar Contact Person : Adv. Sudha Bhardwaj (mobile: 099266-03877)

This in appeal to all democratic organizations & peace loving citizens to join forces in defence of Democracy & Freedom. We will make an attempt to keep you informed on the future activities.

Akshay Sail

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Invitation to join rally against arresting of Dr. binayak sen!!

Posted by Indian Vanguard on May 29, 2007

Dear friends!

As you know the vice-president of PUCL Dr. binayak sen were arrested by chhatishgarg police alleged false cases. Police searched the house of Dr. sen and found some pumphalates related to resistance against US imperialism and a letter written by a CPI (Maoist) leader name Madan in which he described the worst condition of prisoners in raipur central jail and requested to take some action against this by PUCL Chhatishgarh.

In this particular letter the maoist leader addresed Dr. binayak as ” priya comrade binayak.” the police is acclaiming that this addressing show the connection of Dr. sen with maoist.

Arresting of Dr. binayak sen triggered the all democratic and thinking people of india as well as the world. accros all over country strong protest are increasing day by day. In these instant protest justice Rajendra sachhar, world known writer Arundhati Roy, activist Sandeep pandey, seniour journalist Prabhash joshi, Ajit Bhattacharji, former Collecter B.D.Sharma, ideal IAS Harsh mandar and so many well recognize citizens show the deep solidarity with Dr. Sen and came out side to protest against the atrocity of state on human and civil right activist.

In a dramatic incident Raipur police had also arrested the PUCL Chhatishgarh’s president Rajendra sail, about this you were informed earlier. But still all sheduled protest will continue.

On 31st there will be a huge mobilization of social activist, intellectuals, journalist, cultural activist,students, women and people from all section of society in Raipur. Between this there are going so many protests, seminars, rallies and dharnas.

We invites all to join the huge rally protest of raipur on 31st. this will be a strong message to the repressive and undemoctaric state. i would like to say that there is no need of any extra fomalities about this. plz. join this!!!

for detail plz. contact.

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R K Sail arrested State’s deliberate attempt to disrupt peaceful demonstrations

Posted by Indian Vanguard on May 26, 2007

Human rights activist Adv.R K Sail arrested State’s deliberate attempt to disrupt peaceful demonstrations against blck laws

25th May 2007, Raipur (Chhattisgarh) Adv. Rajendra Kumar Sail, Human Rights Activist and presently President of Chhattisgarh PUCL was arrested on 24th May 2007 by heavily armed Chhattisgarh Police in pursuance of the one week simple imprisonment sentence given by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the Contempt of Court case involving contempt of the Jabalpur High Court on the Judgment delivered by the Jabalpur High Court in the Shaheed Niyogi Murder Trial. The timing and manner of his arrest proves that it was a deliberate attempt by the Chhattisgarh Government to deliberately remove Adv. R K Sail from the scene of the protest and disrupt against the arrest of Dr. Binayak Sen, General Secretary of Chhattisgarh PUCL & Vice-President, National PUCL under the provisions of the highly controversial Black Laws: Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005 and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (amended in 2004).

It may be recalled that Adv. RK Sail is heading the campaign against the arrest of Dr. Binayak Sen and the use of Black Laws like CSPSA on Human Rights and Social Activists working for the rights of the workers, farmers, adivasis, women and the youth. The Social Movements & Human Rights Organizations are protesting against this action of the CG Government and on 24th May 2007 one-day dharna was organized at the District Headquaters all over the State, and State level & Natioanl Level dharna will be organized on 28th May and 31st May 2007, respectively. A signature campaign was also launched on 24th Mat 2007 mobilizing public against Dr. Sen’s detention under the black laws.

Adv. RK Sail was sentenced to six month simple imprisonment by the Jabalpur High Court in 1998 for voicing his comments on the judgment delivered by the Jabalpur High Court in the Shaheed Niyogi Murder trial in which the High Court had completely changed the judgment of the Session Court, Durg and acquitted all the accused. Adv. RK Sail had gone in appeal in the Hon’ble Supreme Court and on 21st April 2005 the Hon’ble Supreme Court had reduced the sentence to one week with the comment that “…the sentence awarded to Rajendra Sail by the High Court having regard to nature of contempt cannot be said to be unjustified. But having regard to his background and the organization to which he belongs which, it is claimed, brought before various courts including this court many public interest litigation for general public good, we feel that ends of justice would be met if sentence of six month is reduced to sentence of one week simple imprisonment. We order accordingly.”

Yesterday, the Chhattisgarh Police arrested him after he was returning from participating in a daylong dharna at Raipur against the arrest of Dr. Binayak Sen. Heavily armed Police personals surrounded his vehicle in front of the Mahila Thana and took him to Civil Lines Police Station where he was served the warrant issued by the Jabalpur High Court on 12th March 2007. The police then proceeded to take him to Jabalpur by road. He will be produced before the Magistrate(Judicial) of Jabalpur High Court today to undergo the imprisonment of one week.

The manner and the timing of his arrest proves that it was a deliberate move by the Chhattisgarh Government to remove Adv. RK Sail from the scene of the protest and to undermine and jeopardize the peaceful campaign. But, the social action groups & human rights organizations are more determined then before to protest against the draconian designs of the State to suppress the voice of democratic struggle.

This is an appeal to all to join in the protest demonstration and raise our united voice against in defence of democracy. We will make an attempt to keep you informed on the progress.

Akshay Sail

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Release Dr. Binayak Sen, National Vice President PUCL, from imprisonment

Posted by Indian Vanguard on May 25, 2007

Sign the Petition View Current Signatures

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Row over Dr Binayak Sen’s arrest

Posted by Indian Vanguard on May 21, 2007

Police allege that Dr Binayak Sen has strong links to Naxals
The controversy surrounding PUCL leader Dr Binayak Sen rages on. On Saturday (May 19), police raided the eminent doctor’s residence and claimed to have found documents which show strong links to Naxals – an accusation that his wife and party colleagues vehemently deny.

“We have found out everything that is connected with the crime. I am satisfied with this procedure,” said BBS Rajput, Investigative Officer, Raipur Police

This is an accusation which Sen’s wife rubbishes. “There are several documents at our house. We go to several places, meetings, and seminars and there are documents related to various political issues,” she said.

Sen has been at the forefront of tribal welfare activities and has crossed paths with the state administration on various issues including his opposition to the anti-Naxal campaign.

“We will make an application for bail in the sessions court and we have arranged for 3-4 lawyers to take up Dr Sen’s case,” said Rajendra Sayal, President, People’s Union for Civil Liberties.

Human rights groups are garnering support to take up Dr. Sen’s case amidst fears that the police could target him just because he decided to help tribals


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Sen’s arrest an example of repression by Chhattisgarh Government, says PUCL

Posted by Indian Vanguard on May 18, 2007

Demonstration for his unconditional release organised in New Delhi

— Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

VOICE FOR VOICELESS: Writer and social activist Arundhati Roy addressing a press conference held against the arrest of Binayak Sen, general secretary, Chhattisgarh PUCL, in New Delhi on Thursday. — Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

NEW DELHI : Alleging that fake encounters in the past two years have claimed the lives of 155 people in Chhattisgarh, members of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) on Thursday accused the State Government of subjecting Adivasis to atrocities under the garb of Salwa Judum — a people’s movement against terrorism and naxalism initiated by the Government in June 2005.

The recent arrest of PUCL member Binayak Sen in Chhattisgarh, they said, was an example of the Government’s repression on voices that drew attention to human rights violations.

Members of the PUCL, who organised a demonstration outside the Chhattisgarh Bhavan in the capital on Thursday, have sought Dr. Sen’s unconditional release.

They accused the Government of “framing” Dr. Sen, a paediatrician and the vice-president of the PUCL in Chhattisgarh. He was arrested on May 14 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 2004, and the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005.

Later addressing a press conference, Harish Dhawan of the People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) said Dr. Sen had been falsely implicated.

“The State Government has unleashed terror and the police have not yet filed a First Information Report. Threats to PUCL members and Dr. Sen had begun two-and-a-half years ago, because we had begun to draw attention to the large-scale killings, rapes and human rights violation that went unreported.”

Condemning the arrest of Dr. Sen, the former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, Justice Rajinder Sachar, said: “PUCL members are committed to non-violence.

“Violence cannot be tolerated; State violence is no less than any other violence. POTA’s draconian laws have been incorporated in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 2004.”

`Dangerous trend’

Criticising Salwa Judum, noted writer Arundhati Roy said: “What has happened to Dr. Sen is what has been happening to the people of Chhattisgarh; people who are not heard, who have no voices. It all begins with the creation of Salwa Judum. Both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party are colluding to create a people’s militia and using unemployed people as special protection officers. This is a dangerous trend… which will result in the society becoming militarised.”

Advocate Prashant Bhushan accused the Government of orchestrating “land grabbing” and repressing the Adivasis who raise their voice against this. Joining the PUCL in seeking the release of Dr. Sen were members of the PUDR, Medicos Friend Circle, the National Alliance for People’s Movement, the Socialist Front, Saheli and the Delhi Solidarity Group.

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