A special NIA court Monday rejected tribal rights activist Stan Swamy’s bail plea. Swamy was arrested in connection with the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case.
The 83-year-old activist, who was arrested from Ranchi in October 2020, is currently lodged at the Taloja Central Jail in Navi Mumbai.
Swamy had sought bail on medical grounds. In his bail application the activist had mentioned that he suffers from Parkinson's disease. Swamy’s lawyer Sharif Shaikh had told the special court that the ailing activist was not a flight risk and he will not jump bail.
However, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, opposed Swamy’s bail plea saying that its probe had revealed that 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)".
In his plea, Swamy had said that he has lost the ability to hear from both his ears. He had also stated that while in the Taloja prison, he had to be shifted to the prison hospital owing to his ill health.
Swamy’s plea also stated that his name was not even part of the original FIR but it was added in the remand application in 2018 by the police as a suspected accused. Swamy further said he worked for Dalits and Adivasis and not for Maoists.
Shaikh had said the NIA had failed to find anything incriminating against Swamy in the raids conducted at his home in Ranchi.
Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Shetty, who appeared for the NIA, opposed Swamy's bail application, saying he was involved with the banned Communist Party of India (CPI) (Maoist).
Shetty said Swamy was a staunch supporter of organisations such as Vistapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan and People's Union for Civil Liberties involved in activities for CPI (Maoists).
The NIA also claimed that it had found incriminating material on Swamy's laptop.
It said the agency had evidence to prove that Swamy was involved in the conspiracy.
Swamy's previous medical emergency bail plea on the ground that he was susceptible to contract coronavirus while in prison, was rejected by the NIA court soon after his arrest.
Swamy then filed the present bail plea in November 2020.
The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at the 'Elgar Parishad' conclave, held at Shaniwarwada in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon- Bhima war memorial located on the city's outskirts.
The Pune Police claimed the conclave was backed by Maoists.
(With PTI inputs)