Fear Has Aggravated: Kin of Bhima Koregaon Accused React To Stan Swamy's Death
Kin of other Bhima Koregaon accused expess fear for the lives of their loved ones who are still in jail
This is not a natural death, but the institutional murder of a gentle soul, committed by an inhuman state
These are the words of the family members of the persons accused in the Bhima Koregaon case. The relatives who have their loved ones incarcerated as 'terror accused' in the Bhima Koregaon case, are 'deeply pained' and 'shaken to the core' by the death of Father Stan Swamy.
Father Stan Swamy, the oldest among the Bhima Koregaon accused, died at Holy Family Hospital on July 05, 1:30 pm. On official records, he died as a pretrial prisoner and UAPA accused, who didn't even get to prove his innocence before the court of law.
The Fear Has Been Aggravated
The families of the Bhima Koregaon case accused fear for the lives of their family members and colleagues, who are facing the similar injustices in the same jails, under the same 'unaccountable system'.
Talking to The Quint, Varavara Rao's nephew N Venugopal said that what happened to Stan Swamy could've easily happened to Varavara Rao as well.
"Stand Swamy was murdered by the broken criminal justice system of this country," Dr Jenny Rowena, wife of incarcerated Prof Hany Babu, told The Quint.
Dr Rowena further said that the families continue to fear for the lives and health of those who are still in jail under the 'fabricated charges' in the Bhima Koregaon case.
Father Stan's Strength of Character Was Inspiring
The family members of those accused in the Bhima Koregaon case issued a collective statement saying that despite his feeble health, Stan Swamy inspired everyone with the strength of his character and 'unshakeable integrity'. They said:
Even as his health degraded in the prison, his thoughts and prayers were always with his co-prisoners. In his letters, he wrote about his other prison mates who were also falsely fabricated in different cases, and agonized over the prevailing injustices in society.
The families highlighted that even when his health kept on deterorating in the prison, Swamy was being deprived of the most basic amenities. Even for getting a sipper to drink water, he had to approach the court. Moreover, the doctors in jail couldn't even diagnose his COVID-19 infection.
The families believe that there was a callous disregard to Swamy's deteriorating health. Even the 'blind, unfeeling and insensitive' Special NIA Court 'mechanically turned down' his plea seeking bail on medical grounds.
We cannot forget the heartbreaking speech of Father Stan before the High Court during his medical bail appeal, where he gave a moving account of his deteriorating health. He told the court in no uncertain terms that he did not expect to live long and wished to die amongst his people in Bagaicha, Ranchi. It is appalling that such a simple request could not be met by our judicial system.The Statement
Injustice of Detention
The families categorically state in their statement that the 'immense injustice' caused to Father Stan Swamy by the virtue of his continued detention 'can't be forgotten'. They believe that since the investigation against Swamy was already complete, there was no justification for keeping him incarcerated as he posed no flight risk.
It is unconscionable that someone of his age and ill-health was put in the prison in the first place, and that too, in the middle of an ongoing pandemic.The Statement
While the families remember Swamy's gentleness and humanity, they firmly believe that his arrest and subsequent detention in Taloja Prison in Navi Mumbai was already 'a death sentence' pronounced against him.
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