2,000 Signatories & CM Soren Condemn NIA’s Arrest of Stan Swamy
Scholars and activists called the NIA’s arrest of Stan Swamy, “inhuman and insincere,” in a statement.
A group of 2,000 signatories released a statement on Friday, opposing the arrest of 83-year-old right activist Stan Swamy by the National Investigation Agency, in connection to the Elgar Parishad case.
The signatories include scholars and activists like Jean Drèze, professor Nandini Sundar, lawyer Rebecca John and author Natasha Badhwar,
“The inhuman and insincere act of the NIA authorities in arresting Stan Swamy stands out for its sheer vindictiveness, for Stan fully cooperated with the investigating officers of the NIA when they questioned him at his residence in Bagaicha for over 15 hours (from 27-30 July and on 6 August),” the signatories said in the statement.
Swamy has been placed in judicial custody till 23 October. The NIA has alleged that Swamy had Maoist links, which he has denied. The investigating agency filed a supplementary chargesheet in the ‘Bhima Koregaon’ case on 9 October against Swamy, Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha, Hany Babu and three members of cultural group Kabir Kala Manch, Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor, and Jyoti Jagtap.
The statement also noted Swamy’s denial of the links, calling out the evidence procured by the NIA as ‘fake.’
“He had also clearly told the NIA that some so-called extracts allegedly taken from his computer shown to him by the NIA were fake and fabricated and that he disowned them,” the signatories noted.
“It is deeply worrying that the NIA arrested an 84-year old with several health ailments during the Covid epidemic and made him travel to Mumbai.”
‘Fabricating Maoist Conspiracy Against State’
The signatories also called out the central government for fabricating a “a false narrative of a national Maoist conspiracy against the State.”
“The main objective of the case is to target and harass activists who work for the rights of Adivasis, Dalits and the marginalised and raise questions against the anti-people policies of the government. The Bhima-Koregaon conspiracy case exposes the extent to which the central government is willing to undermine constitutional values and suppress dissent. The arrest of Stan Swamy is also an attack on all those working for human and constitutional rights in Jharkhand,” the signatories stated.
The statement points out that Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren had opposed Swamy’s arrest in June 2019.
Indeed, Soren also condemned the central government on Friday for the arrest of the 83-year-old activist.
“What message does the central BJP government want to give by arresting 83-year-old 'Stan Swamy' who amplified the voice of the poor, the deprived and the tribals? What is this stubbornness to suppress every voice of your opposition?,” he tweeted in Hindi.
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