Bail Doesn't Absolve Sen of All Charges: Raman Singh

New Delhi
Bail Doesn't Absolve Sen of All Charges: Raman Singh
Grant of bail to civil rights activist Binayak Sen does not absolve him of the charges against him, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said today noting that his government never tried to "implicate" anybody without evidence.

"Police slapped charges on the basis of evidence. We have concrete evidence against him. Grant of bail does not absolve anybody from any charges," Singh said at HT Leadership Summit here.

"We worked on inputs of the intelligence agencies. Then charges were framed by court and decisions taken. It was not my personal decision. I am not a judge. Court decided about it," he said, replying to a question on Sen.

Sen has been accused of sedition by the Chhattisgarh Government, and a Raipur Court had sentenced him to life imprisonment. But he was granted bail on April 15, 2011 by the Supreme Court.

Without naming anybody, he said those who collected Rs 300 crore in Naxal affected areas of Bastar and other parts have been talking about human rights violation. "Whatever I am doing, am doing with full conviction. We are not allowing violation of human rights there," he said.

Expressing strong resolve to fight Naxalism, he said peace was a prerequisite for ensuring development in the Maoist-hit region.

"It was a challenge facing the nation. It is not a state problem. If there is no peace then there will be no development," he said.

Listing various achievements of his government, Singh said transforming the public distribution system (PDS) into an efficient network was one of the highlights of his tenure.

"The PDS system was not delivering. When we assumed charge, I was told that PDS shops do not open. There was 50 per cent leakage. I took it seriously and decided to improve it. We involved around 10,600 cooperative societies and passed a legislation. It is now functioning with great efficiency and I can say we are implementing it with 96 per cent success rate," he said.

Identifying power as a key priority area, he said an investment of Rs 17,000 crore would be made to improve power transmission and generation in the next few years.

On steps being taken to improve the agriculture sector, he said besides many other initiatives, his government has been giving loan at the rate of 3 per cent interest to the farmers.

Asked about FDI in retail, Singh said he would not allow it in Chhattisgarh as it will adversely impact the small traders.

"We do not need Walmart. We need cold storage. We need infrastructure to help farmers...I will not allow FDI in retail in my state," he said.
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