10 Oppn Leaders Write to Prez, Urge Action Over Stan Swamy's Passing
The letter also urged President Ram Nath Kovind to release all Bhima Koregaon prisoners.
Following tribal rights activist Father Stan Swamy's demise on Monday, 5 July, ten Opposition leaders including Congress' Sonia Gandhi, National Congress Party's Sharad Pawar, Trinamool Congress' Mamata Banerjee have penned a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, urging him to direct the central government to act against "those responsible for foisting false cases on him, his continued detention in jail, and inhuman treatment".
In a letter dated Tuesday, 6 July, the politicians wrote of the deplorable circumstances surrounding his passing:
"The 84-year-old Jesuit priest and activist, who championed the rights and causes of the adivasis in far-flung areas of Jharkhand, was jailed last October in trumped up charges under the draconian UAPA..."
Other signees of the letter include Farooq Abdullah, Hemant Soren, Tejashwi Yadav, MK Stalin, Sitaram Yechury, D Raja, and HD Deve Gowda.
Further, the letter stated: "The numerous appeals made to shift him out of the overcrowded Taloja Jail that had seen a huge rise in COVID cases went unheeded. His appeals for bail and being sent home too were rejected."
"It was too late to prevent his death in custody..."
The letter went on to underline that Swamy was denied treatment for his various illnesses including Parkinson's.
In a final appeal, the letter stated: "It is now incumbent that all those jailed in Bhima Koregaon and other detenues in politically motivated cases, misusing draconian laws like UAPA, sedition, be released forthwith."
Father Stan Swamy, who was incarcerated for his alleged involvement in the Elgar Parishad case, passed away as a pre-trial prisoner after suffering a cardiac arrest one day before his bail hearing.
He was 83 when he had first moved a plea before the NIA Special Court on 27 November 2020, seeking bail on medical grounds.
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