Human Rights Activist, Father Stan Swamy, an undertrial prisoner in the Bhima Koregaon case, passed away Today at 1.30 PM, a month after he was admitted to a private hospital in Mumbai, following court’s orders. He was 84 years old and despite the grave medical conditions he was repetitively denied bail even on medical grounds.
On October 8, 2020 Father Stan Swamy, was detained by National Investigation Agency (NIA)and charged with draconian law UAPA in connection with Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad Case.
The Jesuit priest spent the last eight months before his hospital admission in Taloja Central prison, where his condition progressively deteriorated.
Here is the last letter he wrote from behind the bars in January 2021
“First of all, I deeply appreciate the overwhelming solidarity expressed by many during these past 100 days behind the bars. At times, news of such solidarity has given me immense strength and courage especially when the only thing certain in prison is uncertainty. Life here is on a day-to-day basis.
Another strength during these past hundred days, has been in observing the plight of the undertrials. A majority of them come from economically & socially weaker communities. Many of such poor undertrials don’t know what charges have been put on them, have not seen their charge sheet and just remain in prison for years without any legal or other assistance. Overall, almost all undertrials are compelled to live to a bare minimum, whether rich or poor. This brings in a sense of brotherhood & communitarianism where reaching out to each other is possible even in this adversity.
On the other hand, we sixteen coaccused have not been able to meet each other, as we are lodged in different jails or different ‘circles’ within the same jail. But we will still sing in chorus. A caged bird can still sing.”
Fr. Stan Swamy