Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren condoled the death of renowned activist Father Stan Swamy, an under-trial in the Elgaar Parishad case, and said that the union government should be answerable for absolute apathy and non-provision of timely medical services, leading to his death.
84 year old Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist Swamy breathed his last at a Mumbai hospital earlier in the day. Doctors at Holy Family Hospital, Bandra, informed the Bombay High Court that Swamy, 84, passed away around 1.30 pm.
“Shocked to learn about the demise of Father Stan Swamy. He dedicated his life working for tribal rights. I had strongly opposed his arrest & incarceration. The Union Govt should be answerable for absolute apathy & non provision of timely medical services, leading to his death,” Soren tweeted.
CM and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) supremo Soren has been condemning and criticising Stan Swamy’s arrest and expressing support and solidarity with him.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted, “Unjustifiable that a man who fought all through his life for our society’s most downtrodden, had to die in custody. Such travesty of justice should have no place in our democracy”.
Congress former chief Rahul Gandhi expressed condolences over the passing away of Swamy and and said that Swamy “deserved justice and humaneness”.
CPIM general secretary Sitaram Yechury stated that he was deeply pained and outraged at the death of the death Jesuit priest and social activist who tirelessly helped the marginalised. Yechury also demanded “Accountability must be fixed for this murder in custody”.
Stan Swamy was being treated at the Holy Family Hospital in Mumbai, following a court order on May 28. 84 year old Swamy was denied medical care for over ten days before he was finally moved to Holy Family Hospital on May 30. During those 10, days, Swamy had complained of fever and weakness.
Last week, Stan Swamy had filed a fresh plea for bail in the High Court, challenging a section of the draconian Unlawful UAPA that imposes stringent conditions for bail to an accused charged under the Act.
Lawyer demands judicial inquiry, says NIA and Taloja prison responsible
Swamy’s lawyer Mihir Desai demanded a judicial inquiry into the death of 84 year old activist.
Desai, who has been representing Swamy since his arrest, told the court that he does not have any complaint against Holy Family Hospital or the high court, but held the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Taloja central prison responsible for Swamy’s death.
According to Desai, Taloja central prison, which lacks proper medical facilities, failed to provide adequate medical treatment to the elderly activist and his health had deteriorated by the time he was moved out to a hospital. Swamy was put on a ventilator support and was unconscious ever since.
According to Live Law, soon after the Holy Family Hospital informed the court about Swamy’s death, Desai asked that a post mortem to be conducted on Swamy’s body and all guidelines laid down by the National Human Rights Commission in the case of a custodial death be followed. The court agreed.
The renowned human rights defender Swamy, an Indian Roman Catholic priest, a member of the Jesuit order, and a tribals rights activist for several decades, was arrested in October last year, was sent to judicial custody immediately and since has been in Taloja prison.
Swamy was the oldest person to be accused of terrorism in India.