Silent Human Chain Protest against the Arrest of Fr Stan Swamy by NIA
Bengaluru: Over a thousand youth, middle aged and seniors lined up on the road from Brigade Road, Bengaluru, till Shantinagar bus stand-Bluru to protest against the arrest of Fr Stan Swamy SJ of Ranchi by NIA on false accusations that Fr Swamy was present and had instigated Bhima Koregaon disturbance which took place back in 2017 resulting in the death of one person.
Fr Swamy is 83 years old and has been ailing with Parkinson’s and other serious health issues. He had already been subjected to interrogation for 15 hours, and NIA forcefully took him to Mumbai for further interrogation a few days back.
Silent human chain protests have been organized throughout the country to make people aware of the hardships activists face and ask for the immediate release of Fr Stan and others who have been implicated falsely in the same case for the last two years. All of them are languishing in a jail in Pune.
Fr Stany has been working for the rights of the tribals, dalits and other marginalized groups in Jharkand, Madhya Pradesh and other regions for the last 30 years. His commitment to the upliftment of the poor has been phenomenal. He has been fighting for justice for these people based on the provisions in the Constitution of India.
The protest was joined by a large number of people. Even Archbishop Peter Machado, Bishop of Bangalore joined the silent protest. After the march Archbishop spoke to the gathering. He was followed by Clifton, lawyer and activist Prof. Menon. All of them spoke about the difficulties and hardships faced by people who work with genuine interest for the rights of the marginalized people of our country. Some of the participants expressed their feelings to the media personnel saying that we are living in difficult times with fascist forces trying to indoctrinate the youth with false beliefs and suppressing genuine protests which express solidarity with the poor and the marginalized. A memorandum was submitted highlighting the suppression of dissent and asked for immediate release of Fr Stan Swamy and others. Fr Swebert D’Silva SJ, Rector, St Joseph’s College, Fr Brian Pereira SJ, Rector and Vice President, BJES, Fr Victor Lobo SJ and others were present.