‘Fr Stan Swamy’s Death in Jail Is Murder of Democracy’- SDPI during Candlelight Vigil in City

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‘Fr Stan Swamy’s Death in Jail is Murder of Democracy’- SDPI during Candlelight Vigil in City

‘Fr Stan Swamy’s Death In Jail Is Murder of Democracy’- Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) during Candlelight Vigil in City near Clock Tower on Thursday, 8 July at 7.30 pm. Placards with messages like -“Union Government Why Do You Harass The Activists and Journos”?; “Activists and Journalists Are Pushed Into Indian Jails For No-Fault”; “Is Organizing People an Offensein India? Then Why Was Stan Pushed Into Jail”?; “Union BJP Regime is Denying The Human Rights & Fundamental Rights”; “Why Timely Medical Aid Was Denied To Stan Swamy”?; Government Can’t Mute The Voice By Pushing Activists and Journos Into Jail”.

Mangaluru: India has shown outrage over the death of Fr Stan Swamy, aged 84, who was treated inhumanely while in jail under the NIA, hand-in-hand with the Union Government. The death of 84-year-old tribal activist Father Stan Swamy, an undertrial in the Bhima Koregaon case, has evoked outrage in the Indian public sphere. Cutting across party lines, political leaders condemned his death. Thousands of activists, political leaders, and Indian citizens have taken to social media to pay tributes to jailed tribal rights activist Stan Swamy. Many also expressed anger at the way he was jailed during Covid-19 and repeatedly denied bail. The government said Swamy’s arrest followed “due process under law”, which is nothing but Bullshit? The Jesuit priest, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, was the oldest to be accused of terrorism in India. Leader of the main opposition Congress party Rahul Gandhi tweeted that Fr Stan deserved justice and humaneness. United Nations Special Rapporteur Mary Lawlor said she was devastated to hear about Swamy’s death and that “jailing HRDs [Human rights defenders] is inexcusable”.

Father Stan Swamy was among 16 renowned activists, academics and lawyers who were charged under a draconian anti-terror law in what came to be known as the Bhima Koregaon case. Arrested in October 2020, he spent eight months in a Mumbai prison, awaiting trial. During this time, his health deteriorated rapidly to the point where he could not eat or bathe by himself. Prison authorities were criticized for denying him access to basic amenities such as a straw and sipper – a plastic drinking beaker with a spout or straw – which he needed to drink water because of hand tremors caused by Parkinson’s. In his last bail hearing in May, Swamy had predicted his death. “I would rather suffer, possibly die here very shortly if this were to go on,” he told the judges.

Following close on its heels after Citizens Forum For Mangaluru Development, Mangaluru under the leadership of Ms Vidya Dinker, a Social Activist had organized a Candlelight Vigil on Wednesday, 7 July near Clock Tower, Mangaluru, (Ref: STEP OUT FOR STAN! Huge Fans of Fr Stan Swamy SJ Gather for Candlelight Vigil….) today evening (8 July 2021) members of Social Democratic People of India (SDPI) also held a Candlelight Vigil to mourn the tragic death of Fr Stan Swamy, at the same spot (Clock Tower) at 7:30 pm. Various leaders of SDPI expressed their anger and views on the death of Fr Stan.

Addressing the gathering Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) State Secretary Ilyas Mohammed Thumbay said, “No doubt that the death of Fr Stan Swamy in the jail is Murder of Democracy, and Fr Swamy’s death had “left the highest institutions of India’s justice system diminished. In the nearly nine months of his incarceration, till his death, the ailing activist came up – again and again – against the heavy hand of the state, an unresponsive judiciary and a broken prison system. He was ill-treated in the jail which landed him in the hospital after the Court permitted it. The accusations against Swamy in connection with caste violence at a rally in Bhima Koregaon village in Maharashtra in 2018 are totally wrong. Even though Swamy had denied the charges, saying he was being targeted for his work related to the caste and land struggles of tribespeople in Jharkhand, the NIA and Union government turned a blind eye”.

Ilyas further said, “Swamy’s death was “designed to happen”. Even if you’re a Maoist, which I don’t believe for a second, even then you could not excuse what has happened. Do you call this a democratic India, when such draconian things are happening under the BJP led Union government? A humanitarian and man of God whom our government could not treat with humanity. Deeply saddened as an Indian. ”Fr Stan deserved justice and humaneness, but that never happened. How unfortunate that a person who served the poor and tribals throughout his life and became the voice of human rights, was denied justice and human rights even in the hour of death. We will not stop here, but will continue our fight for human rights in India, and not be controlled by the ruling BJP Union government”.

Also speaking, the SDPI President of DK Anwar Sadath B said, “Fr Stan passed away without getting bail and there was “little hope of an early trial, while others were languishing in jail too. Lawyers, Academics, Social Activists who raise their voices for the voiceless, they too are now ‘voiceless’. The State calls them ‘terrorists’, which is nonsense. Fr Stan’s arrest was very painful. Under Indian criminal law, one is innocent until proven guilty. Fr Stan’s case did not even come up for hearing. Swamy worked tirelessly for the underprivileged and downtrodden. His dedication to the exploited tribals was beyond limits. Hope that the truth will come out soon and his name will be cleared of all criminal conspiracy.”

“Arresting an elderly activist suffering from multiple ailments in relation to a false and malicious political case, and then letting him die in custody by opposing desperate requests for release, is nothing short of custodial murder. SDPI strongly criticizes the state of affairs of our judiciary which permitted this to happen. This is nothing but a “state-sanctioned murder”. Swamy has been killed in judicial custody, not because of any crime he committed, but because his ceaseless fight for justice was making the powers that be uncomfortable. Once again, this case has highlighted the fundamentally unjust nature of UAPA and other draconian laws. All laws that allow the state to imprison people without due process must be struck down.” added Anwar Sadath.

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