CDRO is shocked to hear the news of the arrest of Father Stan Swamy in connection with the infamous Bhima-Koregaon (BK) case. We note with disgust that Father Stan Swamy is the latest victim of the witch hunt operation carried out by the BJP-government in the name of BK case. It is a well-known fact today that the NIA, in the BK case, could not find any convincing material implicating the incarcerated activists and proving several alleged trumped-up charges including “criminal conspiracy to assassinate the Prime Minister”.
Several facts show that the arrest of the veteran human rights worker as against the democratic norms. Firstly, Father Stan Swamy is 83-year old. Taking him away during Corona pandemic time not only violates his right and puts at threat his heath but also violates the order issued by the state of Jharkhand which prohibits coming out in public of people above the age of 65 years. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, Father Stan Swamy is a prominent public figure with a long history of working for upholding Adivasi rights. He was not absconding, and in fact, he had cooperated with the NIA during the 15-hour interrogation carried out by the agency for five days (27th July-30th July and on 6th August). Thirdly, even while presenting the case in Mumbai High court, the NIA has shown Fr. Stan Swamy only as “suspect-accused” in the BK case and not as an accused. Finally, it should be borne in mind that Fr. Stan Swamy’s residence was raided on 28th August 2018 by the Pune Police, then in charge of the BK case, and his laptop, tablet, camera etc. were seized. Therefore, we feel that the charge of Stan Swamy having a Maoist link based on computer extracts is a fabrication by the police with malicious intent and has been planted as “evidence” in an after-thought. Fr. Stan Swamy has outright rejected any involvement with the Maoists or the alleged conspiracy.
CDRO strongly believes that Fr. Stan Swamy has been implicated because of his role as a leading public intellectual, as a campaigner against the false arrest case of the tribals in Jharkhand, for demanding the release of undertrial tribal prisoners, for advocating the land rights of the tribals, and for his role in the reversal of 209 MoUs worth 3 lakh crores of so-called development projects, which deprive the livelihood of the tribal people of Jharkhand, for implementation of PESA to the benefit of tribals etc.
The systematic taking over of the BK case from Maharashtra police by the NIA after the formation of the new government in Maharashtra, the arrest and harassment of leading public intellectuals clearly show the intent of the centre to gag the voices of dissent against the anti-people policies and undemocratic functioning of the central government.
CDRO reiterates that arrest of Fr. Stan Swamy, like the earlier arrests of 15 other public intellectuals, by the Pune Police and the NIA is a clear violation of the principles of Federalism pronounced by the constitution.
➤Immediate release of Father Stan Swamy
➤ Immediate & unconditional release of all those arrested in the fabricated Bhima Koregaon case
➤ Punishment to the real culprits of the Bhima Koregaon case violence
CO-ORDINATION OF DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS ORGANISATION(CDRO)
K.Kranthi Chaitanya, Prit Pal Singh, Tapas Chakraborty and V. Raghunath
(Coordinators of CDRO)
Constituent Organisations: Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR, Punjab), Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR, West Bengal); Asansol Civil Rights Association, West Bengal; Bandi Mukti Committee (West Bengal); Civil Liberties Committee (Andhra Pradesh); Civil Liberties Committee (Telangana); Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (Maharashtra); Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR TamilNadu); Coordination for Human Rights (Manipur); Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti (Assam); Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights ; Peoples’ Committee for Human Rights (Jammu and Kashmir); Peoples Democratic Forum (Karnataka); Jharkhand Council for Democratic Rights (Jharkhand); Peoples Union For Democratic Rights (Delhi); Peoples Union for Civil Rights (Hariyana), Campaign for Peace & Democracy in Manipur, Delhi; Janhastakshep (Delhi)