Octogenarian activist Stan Swamy accused in Koregaon-Bhima case dies seeking bail
The activist had told the High court that his health was declining at the Taloja prison and if he was not granted interim bail, he "would die soon" through a video conference.Author : Priyal Mahajan
Last year, Stan Swamy, an 84-year-old priest-activist was arrested in the Elgar Parishad case under the anti-terror law and he died today. In the middle of his fight, he requested for bail on health grounds several times and mentioned that if he doesn’t get bail, he would die soon.
Since yesterday, he was on a ventilator, when his condition worsened drastically. On May 28, a court order was passed for which he was treated at the Holy Family Hospital in Mumbai. For the last months of his life, he had been fighting legal battles for his needs even for the smallest of all when he was jailed in a prison near Mumbai.
He was affected by Parkinson's disease and in December he was provided by a straw and a sipper in jail due to the same.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested him in October from his home at night and then at that time there was no "conclusive proof" related to his medical ailments. The agency had alleged that Stan Swamy was a Maoist and wanted to cause distress in the nation.
The activist had told the High court that his health was declining at the Taloja prison and if he was not granted interim bail, he "would die soon" through a video conference.
Last week, he also tried reaching the Bombay High Court to plea a fresh bail challenging the strict conditions for bail to a person who had been arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) Act.
Stan Swamy and the group accused had complained to the court that the health facilities were not adequate in the Tolaja Prison. They had stated the neglect made by prison officials in ensuring medical aid, tests, sanitation, and social distancing during Covid.
For five decades, Stan Swamy had worked for tribals in Jharkhand, and then he was arrested due to the reason that he had links with Naxals, especially the banned CPI (Maoists) which the National Investigation Agency (NIA) relates with an event in Koregaon-Bhima near Pune on December 31, 2017, which was followed by violence and arson that left one person dead. A team of NIA officials from Delhi had arrested Stan Swamy from his home in Jharkhand capital Ranchi.
The NIA said the organizers of the Elgar Parishad event, as well as the arrested activists, met senior leaders of the CPI (Maoist), a banned organization under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and focused to spread Maoist and Naxal ideology and encourage unlawful activities in India.
Many people had spent two years in jail waiting for their trials such as prominent activists, scholars, and lawyers. Stan Swamy was 84 years old and was the oldest to be arrested. He had many health-related issues, was tested positive for coronavirus at a private hospital last month, and was shifted to the ICU.