October 16, 2021

Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

Koregaon-Bhima accused tribal rights activist Fr. Stan Swamy dies seeking bail

 Ailing octogenarian tribal rights activist Fr. Stan Lourduswamy — an arrested-accused in the sensitive Koregoan-Bhima case and awaiting bail on medical grounds — passed away here on Monday afternoon, officials said.

Swamy’s Senior Advocate Mihir Desai brought to the notice of the Bombay High Court judges Justice S. S. Shinde and Justice N. J. Jamdar of the development when his bail plea came up for hearing this afternoon.

“Its with a very heavy heart I have to inform you that Fr. Stan Swamy has passed away,” said Dr. Stanislaus D’Souza, the doctor treating him at a private hospital informed the court.

He added that early on Saturday, the 84-year-old activist — hailing from Trichy in Tamil Nadu — had suffered a cardiac arrest and could not be revived.

Shortly afterwards, the Jesuit Provincial of India said in a statement this afternoon: “With a deep sense of pain, anguish and hope, we have surrendered Fr. Stan Swamy, 84, to his eternal abode.”

It said that ‘the author of life’, Fr. Swamy, whose mission was to work among the Adivasis, Dalits, and other marginalized communities so that the poor may have life and live to the full, with dignity and honour.

“On behalf of the Jesuits of India, especially the Jesuits of Jamshedpur Jesuit Province, I express my deepest condolence to the family members, friends, lawyers, well-wishers, and all those who stood by Fr. Stan and prayed for him during this moment of trial and suffering,” said the statement.

Fr. Swamy was arrested in October 2020 by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with his alleged role in the January 1, 2018 Koregaon-Bhima caste violence in Pune, and related issues which rocked the state and national politics.

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