Down the rabbit hole: Aam Aadmi Party and Congress had links to convicted Naxalite

The nation is abuzz with news of the massive raids conducted against alleged urban Naxals by the Pune Police on Tuesday in connection with the violence at Bhima Koregaon and an alleged assassination plot to murder Prime Minister Modi. We have reported on the vested interests involved who are now screaming persecution.

However, it appears now that the rabbit hole runs much deeper than we previously imagined. Convicted on charges of sedition for his links to Naxals in 2010, Binayak Sen was sentenced to life imprisonment under sections 124A and 120(B) of the IPC. He was also found guilty under section 8(1) of Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act. He was given bail by the SC in 2011. As it turns out, he was in the Committee for Police Reforms of the Aam Aadmi Party announced in 2014. Sudha Bharadwaj who was raided yesterday by the Police was also a member of the committee along with Prashant Bhushan who has vehemently criticized the raids. Sen was in the committee for resolving the Naxalite question as well.

Binayak Sen’s wife, Ilina Sen, was a member of the Aam Aadmi Party’s internal Lokpal. Ilina Sen has been a professor at the Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya [International Hindi University], Wardha, and at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Binayak Sen was invited to TISS to deliver a keynote address as well. Ilina Sen was one among many luminaries who signed the mercy petition for Yakub Memon.

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Binayak Sen has links with the Congress party as well. Sen was named a member of the government’s Planning Commission on health in 2011. Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Raman Singh, had slammed the decision to include Sen in the panel and wrote to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh deeming it “shocking and against all norms and propriety”.

Anand Teltumbde, another activist who was raided yesterday, was a member of the Aam Aadmi Party committee for “End to Caste Based Violence”. He was a member of another committee of the party for “Fine Tuning Reservations” along with Yogendra Yadav. Gautam Navlakha had also come out in support of Prashant Bhushan after the latter’s suggestion of a referendum in Kashmir.

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