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Right activists and workers of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha (CMM) held a rally and staged a sit-in Friday here to extend support to activist Binayak Sen, who was sentenced to life by a local court here last week.

It was the first protest rally by rights activists in Chhattisgarh since Sen was convicted on sedition charges Dec 24. The activists and left party workers mainly targeted state’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government for ‘trapping Sen on trumped up charges as he raised voice against rights abuses in the state’.

The protesters also sought immediate repeal of controversial Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2005 and Sen’s unconditional release.

Addressing the rally, CPI national executive member Chhittaranjan Bakshi said the state government was using the ‘draconian’ Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act to target those who did not toe the government line against Maoists. He added that several CPI workers were targeted by state government in restive Bastar in recent months for raising voices against police excesses with tribal civilians.

Meanwhile, the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist has given a call to observe a country-wide protest week from Jan 2-8 against the court judgement, convicting Sen, Maoist ideologue Narayan Sanyal and Kolkata based businessman Piyush Guha

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