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Archive for March 11th, 2009

Resisting a Police State: The Importance of Dr. Binayak Sen

Posted by Sole on March 11, 2009

Dr. Binayak Sen

Dr. Binayak Sen

This article originally appeared on Monthly Review.

by Analytical Monthly Review

Analytical Monthly Review, published in Kharagpur, West Bengal, India, is a sister edition of Monthly Review. Its February 2009 issue features the following editorial.

We have lost twice over from the late November terror attacks in Mumbai. We must add to the anguish of the loved ones of the poor people who were murdered as they waited for trains at VT [Victoria Terminus] — and who received but a tiny fraction of the media’s attention — the anguish of innocent poor people yet unknown who shall fall prey to the lawless arrests and police torture that shall with certainty follow from the “anti-terror” legislation of December 17th.

Why do we say “with certainty”? The legislation follows two earlier models, the Prevention of Terrorism Act and its predecessor, the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act. These acts gave rise to frightful abuse; they offered impunity to the police for unlawful arrests and torture in custody. Official review of the use of TADA, under which close to 70,000 were arrested (and but 725 convicted), found the provisions of the Act inapplicable in over 90% of the cases. POTA was, if anything, yet more abused.

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