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Stan Swamy, accused in Elgar Parishad case, dies at 84

Human Rights. Photp: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

Mumbai, July 5 (MNN) Human rights activist Father Stan Swamy breathed his last in a hospital here on Monday afternoon. He was 84.

The Bombay High Court was informed by his lawyer that Swamy, who was under arrest in the Elgaar Parishad case, had died. The Jesuit priest died of a cardiac arrest.

“Heartfelt condolences on the passing of Father Stan Swamy. He deserved justice and humaneness,” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra tweeted: “84-year-old Stan Swamy dies waiting for bail. The NIA arrested him in October from his home in a late-night raid, opposed his bail saying no ‘conclusive proof’ of his ailments. Ashamed and saddened at how justice is on a ventilator in this country.”

Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury said: “Deeply pained and outraged at the death of Father Stan Swamy. A Jesuit priest and social activist he tirelessly helped the marginalised. Draconian UAPA custody, inhuman treatment since October 2020 with no charge established. Accountability must be fixed for this murder in custody.”

Earlier, on July 4, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had directed the Maharashtra Chief Secretary to ensure every possible efforts to give proper medical care and treatment to 84-year-old Fr Stan Swamy, who is facing serious health conditions in prison and has since been put on ventilator.

The Commission had also called for a report in the light of allegations made in a complaint on the matter and treatment record of Fr Swamy, who was lodged in Taloja Jail at Navi Mumbai.

The direction on Sunday came in continuation of an earlier NHRC order wherein it had advised the Maharashtra government to provide adequate medical care and treatment to Swamy, who is hospitalised at the Holy Family Hospital, and submit a report within four weeks.

Earlier, the Commission had received a complaint on May 16, 2021 that Fr Stan Swamy was denied medical facility during the COVID-19 period.

The Commission said that it was also alleged that he had not been vaccinated yet and that there was no proper medical care in the jail hospital.

The petitioner claimed that the majority of jail staff had tested coronavirus positive, especially most of the kitchen staff. A number of undertrial prisoners had also contracted the virus and no RT-PCR tests were conducted there, the NHRC said referring to the complaint.

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