Who was Father Stan Swamy

The news headlines today are echoing with the death of Stan Lourduswamy aka father Stan Swamy, an accuse in the Bhima Koregaon violence who was jailed under the UAPA in the Elgar Parishad Case and died a custodial death on July 5, 2021 at the age of 84. Several people are stating his death to be an “institutional murder” and the fact that despite him suffering from Parkinson’s disease and being admitted in the hospital his bail plea on “medical grounds” was rejected, has irked the people world over. Even the Human Rights Commission of the UN has expressed anguish over Father Stan’s custodial death.

The opposition leaders have addressed a joint letter to the President Of India, urging him to investigate Father’s death. The blog will update you about the reason of his conviction.

What was the Elgar Parishad Case

On December 31, 2017 a conference named Elgar Parishad was held to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Bhima -Koregaon battle which was the battle won by Mahars for the first time against the “high caste” Marathas by siding with the Britishers in 1818, where nearly 35,000 caste people were gathered. On 1st January, in an inter caste violence a man was killed which led to the Dalit agitations being spread in the entire state. The organizers of the conference were arrested for spreading the violence further and their actions are being linked to the maoist activities.

Father Stan , a Jesuit priest and a tribal activist was arrested by the National Intelligence Agency under UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES PREVENTION ACT(UAPA) due to his links with the Communist Party of India(a maoist party) which is claimed to have further aggressed the violence. However, it was reported that months after his arrest , the NIA was yet to file charges against him. Reports claimed him to be the frailest among all those who were arrested for the Bhima – Koregaon violence.

10 opposition leaders wrote a join letter to the President of India seeking investigation in what is claimed to be a framed “institutional murder”. The letter was signed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda , chief Ministers Mamta Banerjee, MK Stalin and Hemant Soren along with several left leaders. In May this year, Father was infected for covid-19 and the disease was not detected until his condition went a bit severe and he was transferred to Holy Family Hospital in Mumbai. He died due to cardiac arrest in the very same hospital at 1.29 pm on July 5.

It is reported that during Father Stan’s last appearance before the Bombay HC through video conferencing in Taloja jail, he said that he did not want any treatment but to die in his beloved Ranchi where he had spent a major period of his life advocating for the Tribal Rights. His last rites are to take place in a Bombay church tomorrow. His family in Tamil Nadu and his wide number of admirers will be participating in the mass through online means keeping in mind the covid-19 protocols. He is remembered fondly as one of those who inspired everyone with his strength and integrity despite his frail health.

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