Stan Swamy Biography – Wiki
Stan Swamy who’s real name was Stanislaus Lourduswamy, was an Indian Roman Catholic priest, a member of the Jesuit order, and a tribal rights activist for several decades, has died. Swamy was the oldest person to be accused of terrorism in India.
On 8 October 2020, Swamy was arrested and chargesheeted by the National Investigation Agency under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for his alleged role in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence and links to the Communist Party of India (Maoist). Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan both demanded justice for Swamy.
Swamy came from Trichy in Tamil Nadu. In the 1970s, he studied theology and obtained a master’s degree in sociology in the Philippines, where he encountered a series of protests and demonstrations against the administration. During his later studies, he became friends with the Brazilian Catholic Archbishop Hélder Câmara, whose work with poor people influenced him.
Stan Swamy has died at the age of 84-years-old.
Bhima Koregaon Case
The case against Swamy and other activists relate to the violence that broke out in January 2018 in the village of Bhima Koregaon in the state of Maharashtra. Hundreds of thousands of Dalits had gathered that day for the 200th anniversary of a battle in which they defeated a higher caste ruler alongside British forces.
The authorities alleged that the violence, which left one dead, was incited by the activists through their speeches at a conclave held the day before, a charge that the activists deny.
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Many of the activists were not present at the commemoration but were accused of conspiring against the state.
Cause Of Death
Jailed Indian tribal rights activist Stan Swamy died of cardiac arrest in the city of Mumbai. He was 84 years old. The Jesuit priest, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, was transferred to a private hospital in May after testing positive for Covid. Swamy, the oldest person charged with terrorism in India, was arrested in October 2020.
He was one of 15 renowned activists, academics, and lawyers charged under a draconian counter-terrorism law. Swamy had repeatedly denied the charges, saying he was being targeted for his work related to caste and tribal land struggles in Jharkhand state.
The allegations were related to violence that erupted in 2018 during an event commemorating a historic battle fought by Dalits (previously untouchables) against a higher caste government. Swamy’s doctors told a court that he heard his request for bail that he had suffered cardiac arrest early Sunday morning and that he never regained consciousness.
At the time of his arrest, Swamy’s health had deteriorated. But his bail appeal for medical reasons was rejected. In the eight months that he spent in Tajola Jail in Mumbai, his health deteriorated to the point that he could not even eat or bathe himself.
The National Investigative Agency (NIA) continued to oppose his release, sparking anger. Various activists and human rights organizations have described the investigation as a “witch hunt” targeting critics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.