Mangaluru College to Name Park After Late Activist Stan Swamy
Right-wing outfits like ABVP, Bajrang Dal and VHP had opposed the college’s move to name park after Stan Swamy.
Despite pressure from Hindu groups, a college in Mangaluru has said that it is standing by its decision to name one of the parks on campus after the late activist Stan Swamy, who died while he was in jail in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case.
The administration at St Aloysius College (autonomous) college in Mangaluru has said it has only postponed the naming ceremony of a park on its Beeri campus, which was to be held on Thursday, 7 October, and that it has been deferred on the advice of the police in view of President Ram Nath Kovind's visit to the state.
Right-wing outfits like ABVP, Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad had opposed the move to name the park after Stan Swamy, saying that the college should rather name the park after Oscar Fernandes or George Fernandes.
The Bajrang Dal had also organised a press conference condemning the move. The ABVP, in the days leading up to the inauguration, had written to the institution, the college and the police calling Stan Swamy an ‘Urban Naxal’ and the move to name a park after him “an attack to India’s unity.”
The group told the college to reconsider its decision, failing which the “college will be responsible for untoward incidents.”
The college rector Father Melwin Pinto told The New Indian Express that they have not bowed to pressure and will not be budged by the threats by the right-wing organisations. He added that those opposing have said that he has been only accused and no charge has been proven against him.
The late Stan Swamy was a Jesuit priest known for his human rights activism, who spent long years working among the Advasi community in Jharkhand. He was arrested last year by the NIA in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case.
He passed away while in custody, even as the court was hearing his application seeking bail on medical grounds.
His death had caused much outrage as the 84-year-old was repeatedly denied bail requests despite his deteriorating health over nine months in jail, and activists had lamented the inhumane treatment against Swamy in the last months of his life.
(Published in an arrangement with The News Minute)
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