Father Stan Swamy
Eastern Times , New Delhi, October 9, 2020: Charges were finally filed by NIA today in the Bhima Koregaon case, against all those who have been arrested so far in the case including 83 year old Jesuit priest Father Stan Swamy who was picked up by NIA yesterday from his residence in Ranchi and taken straight to the Sessions Court in Mumbai. Gautam Navlakha, Anand Teltumbde, Hany Babu, Kabir Kala Manch, Sagar Ghoghare, Ramesh Gaichor, Jyoti Jagtap are among the others who were arrested till last week.
With NIA filing a chargesheet, it is expected that the trial will begin soon.
Fr Stan was sent to the Taloja Jail, from the sessions court.
Stan’s statement before arrest says evidences against him fabricated
Father Stan Swamy, 83 years old Jesuit priest who was arrested by the NIA from his residence in Ranchi on Thursday, in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case and the authorities alleging that he has links with the banned Maoist forces, had written a statement on the ongoing investigations against him, to put on record his version on the episode.
In his brief statement, Father Stan seems to have anticipated even death in the course of the investigations and quoted from poet Kahlil Gibran — “Life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one” — before signing off his statement.
His statement is as follows:
“I was interrogated by NIA for 15 hours during a span of 5 days (July 27, 28, 29, 30, Aug 6). Apart from my bio-data and some factual information, several extracts allegedly taken from my computer implicating my connection to maoist forces were placed before me. I told them all these are fabrications stealthily put into my computer and I disowned them.
The nature of the present NIA investigation of me, has nothing to do about the Bhima-Koregaon case in which I have been booked as a ‘suspected-accused ’ and consequently raided twice (28 August 2018 and 12 June 2019). But it had everything to do to somehow establish (i) that I am personally linked to extremist leftist forces, (ii)that through me Bagaicha (residential premises) is also linked to some maoists. I denied both these allegations in strongest terms.
After six weeks of silence, I am being summoned to appear at the NIA office in Mumbai. I have informed them (i) that I fail to understand the need for interrogating me further given the fact I have been subjected to that for 15 hours already, (ii) that I am not in a position to undertake the long journey given my age (83) and the nature of the epidemic ravaging the country. Besides Jharkhand State Govt has given a directive that during the lockdown period elderly persons above the age of 65 may not appear in public, (iii) that if the investigating agency wants to interrogate me further it can be done through video-conference.
If the NIA will refuse to consider my request and insist that I go to Mumbai, I’ll tell them that it will not be possible for me to go for the above reasons. Hoping human sense will prevail. If not, I / we must be ready to face the consequences.
Grateful to all who have stood in solidarity with me all these years.”
PUCL: Stan’s defence of Adivasi youth is real motive
Condemning the NIA’s move PUCL statement issued by president Ravi Kiran Jain and general secretary V Suresh said, “the inhuman and insincere act of the NIA authorities in arresting Fr. Stan stands out for its sheer vindictiveness… He fully cooperated with the Investigating officers of the NIA when they questioned him in the Jesuit Residence in Bagaicha for over 15 hours, on July 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th and 6th August. Despite his advanced age and other age related ailments, Fr. Stan patiently answered all queries put to him. It should be noted that Fr. Stan’s residence was raided on 28th August, 2018 by the Pune Police then in charge of the BK case and his laptop, tablet, camera etc were seized.”
The statement also says: “the arrest is malicious and spiteful as Fr. Stan has consistently denied any link with extremist leftist forces or Maoists… what also exposes the NIA action as motivated is revealed by the fact that in October, 2018, the police told the Bombay HC that Fr. Stan was only a suspect and not an accused. Thereafter, for 6 weeks after he was questioned the NIA kept quiet. Now as the 6 month period for completing investigation after the arrest of Gautam Navalakha and Anand Teltumbde on 14th April, 2020 is approaching, the NIA wants to arrest Fr. Stan Swamy and possibly other activists under the completely fabricated and non-existent conspiracy of Bhima Koregaon case.”
“The true reason for arresting Fr. Stan today is because he had dared to expose the large scale abuse of anti-terror and sedition laws by the previous BJP-led Jh