Statement by Jharkhand Jan Adhikar Mahasabha

Stan Swamy

84-year old Priest Stan Swamy’s health has deteriorated and he has been put on a ventilator at the Holy Family hospital. His situation is said to be critical. The NIA and central government are solely responsible for the sufferings of this elderly person and the current state of affair. The NIA court also played its role by denying him a bail on both medical grounds and merit. Assurances of the Maharashtra government regarding support for Stan Swamy are yet to be seen.

Since early May, Stan was keeping unwell at Taloja. He had fever, cough, extreme weakness and a running stomach. Even though he demonstrated severe covid symptoms, he was not tested for covid at Taloja. After a public outcry, he was administered covid vaccine. He also tested positive for covid. Ironically, he was given the vaccine when he was already severely ill, instead of at the beginning of the second wave. The High Court allowed his transfer from the Taloja jail to the Holy Family hospital on 28 May.

Stan Swamy was arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case on 8 October 2020. Adivasis, Gram Sabhas, civil society, several political leaders and parties, and Jharkhand’s Chief Minister himself have condemned Stan’s arrest and expressed support and solidarity with him. The Arsenal report, prepared on the basis of electronic evidence collected by the NIA, has exposed how fake documents were planted into the computers of the accused in the Bhima Koregaon case. Stan himself clearly told the NIA that some so-called extracts allegedly taken from his computer were fabricated and that he disowned them.

Without an iota of evidence against him in the case, he languished in jail and is now battling for his life (still under arrest). Also, denying bail to an elderly and ailing person, with limited mobility and no history of violence against others, is beyond comprehension.

Had the investigating agencies and the Court taken a humanitarian approach, Stan would not have to go through this suffering. As he fights for his life, the central government continues to look away. Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha demands from the central and Maharashtra governments that all necessary medical and specialised treatment be urgently ensured for Stan Swamy. We further demand that the High Court immediately grants him bail. He should be released and sent back to Jharkhand asap.


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