India’s oldest political prisoner, an 84-year-old Jesuit priest, who was denied bail after falling ill, has died, sparking outrage among lawyers, writers, politicians and activists. went.
Father Stan Swamy, a pastor and human rights activist who spent five decades fighting for the rights of the tribal community in the state of Jharkhand, was arrested in October 2020, charged under strict terrorism laws and He was kept in judicial custody.
Despite Swamy’s debilitating condition from Parkinson’s disease, which worsened after Cowade 19 went to jail last month, the courts repeatedly denied him bail before trial.
A doctor told the Bombay High Court that on court orders, Swamy was eventually shifted to a hospital and given a ventilator, but died of cardiac arrest on Monday afternoon after complications related to Covid 19. An emergency bail application for a priest based on health was scheduled during the court hearing, but it was too late.
Opposition Congress MP and former cabinet minister Jairam Ramesh tweeted:
Author Sonia Falero said: “Father Stein Swamy did not die, he was killed. The government killed him, if he had not been for them, he would have survived.
Among others was Karuna Nondi, a high court lawyer who said that the Indian state was “responsible to its loved ones and all its citizens” for “cruel and inhumane treatment at the hands of the state”.
Swamy’s arrest was linked to the 2018 spate of deadly caste-based violence in the state of Maharashtra. Now known as the Bhima Koregaon case, it cracked down on dissent and persecution among human rights activists under the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Is presented as an example.
Along with 15 others, including poets, lawyers, activists and writers, of whom anti-BJP sentiments were expressed, Swamy was accused of committing violence, links to violent Maoist groups and There are allegations of conspiracy to assassinate Modi, which he vehemently denied. .
This year, a U.S. digital analyst found that a hacker had used software to inject 22 fake “blasphemous” files into a suspect’s computer, which police then used as evidence to arrest Swami and others. What was
However, despite the evidence and questions about Swamy’s deteriorating health, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the federal agency investigating Swamy, opposed his bail applications until his condition worsened. And despite his requests he was not allowed to recover at home. The court granted his bail at the request of the NIA.
Swamy’s lawyers accused the jail staff of abusing him in jail. In December, he was forced to give the jails a sip of cups before the courts, as his Parkinson’s meant he could not hold a glass of water in his hand and was given no help.
Poet and writer Mina Kandsami said: Let’s not talk about it as mere death. This is a judicial murder and everyone is involved in it.
Lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan said, “I was no less than a murderer of a noble and kind person. Unfortunately, our judicial system is also complicated.
Prominent activist Harsh Mander calls Swamy “dedicated to selfless defense of tribals” [indigenous] Rights, gentle, brave. Even from prison he did not grieve for himself but did injustice to the poor prisoners.
Mander added: “An oppressive state sent him to prison to silence his voice. The judiciary has done nothing to secure its independence. It is a tragedy for the nation.
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