Expressing anger at the demise of activist Stan Swamy, a group of Opposition leaders on Tuesday wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind seeking his intervention to direct the Centre to act against those responsible for “foisting false cases” on the late activist.
Tribal rights activist Stan Swamy, who was arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence, passed away on Monday. The 84-year-old Jesuit priest was put on ventilator after his health deteriorated on Sunday.
Swamy, a cancer patient who also suffered from Parkinson’s disease, was arrested from his home in Ranchi on October 8, 2020. Despite protestations that he had never been to Bhima Koregaon, he was taken to Mumbai where he was produced before a court and remanded to judicial custody.
In the wake of his death, 10 opposition leaders on Tuesday wrote to the President expressing their shock and anger at the treatment that was meted out to Swamy.
“He was denied treatment for his various ailments including debilitating Parkinson’s. Only after a nationwide campaign was conducted that even a sipper to drink liquids was made available to him in jail,” the leaders wrote in their letter.
The signatories include Congress president Sonia Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin.
The Opposition leaders while urging the President to direct the Centre to act against those responsible for Swamy’s death also sought the release of all other activists arrested as part of the Elgar Parishad case.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren (JMM), former prime minister and JDS leader HD Deve Gowda and NC leader Farooq Abdullah, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, D Raja (CPI) and Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) have also signed the letter.