Stan Swamy’s bail plea rejected in Bhima Koregaon case

Illustraion: Aditya Krishnamurthy, India Development Review

A special court on Monday rejected the bail application of the jailed activist Stan Swamy, arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the Bhima-Koregaon case.

Jharkhand-based tribal rights activist and Jesuit priest Father Swamy was arrested on 7 October over his alleged involvement in the case. He has been in judicial custody since then.

Additional sessions court judge Judge DE Kothalikar rejected bail pleas of Swamy on merits as well as on medical grounds. Stan Swamy is suffering from Parkinson’s disease and he has lost the ability to hear from both his ears. He also suffers from several other ailments.

In the bail plea, Swamy had said that his arrest was “uncalled for” and “malafide.”

The 83-year-old human rights defender who is the oldest person to be accused of terrorism in India, also said that his custody was not sought for over two years after the FIR was filed, which showed that he was not considered a flight risk or someone who would tamper with evidence.

The NIA had opposed Swamy’s bail plea saying the probe had revealed that Stan Swamy was a staunch supporter of organisations such as ”Vistapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan” and ”People’s Union for Civil Liberties”, which were working as “fronts of the CPI (Maoist)”.

The bail plea of Swamy had also said that Swamy has been targetted by the investigating agency due to the “nature of his writings and work” about “caste and land struggles of the people in India and violation of the democractic rights of the marginalised citizens of India.”