Skip to main content

Malicious, spiteful, inhuman, motivated, vindictive: PUCL on arrest of Fr Stan Swamy

Counterview Desk

Condemning the detention of 83 year old Fr Stan Swamy, a well-known Ranchi-based tribal rights activist, in the Bhima Koregaon case, India’s premier human rights organization, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), has said that it is “shocked” by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) move to take him to Mumbai to be remanded for being part of “larger conspiracy” to cause unrest following the violence in Pune, Maharashtra, in January 2018.
Calling it “sheer vindictiveness”, PUCL said, Stan Swamy, who is also a Jesuit priest, and who has been consistently cooperating with the NIA, has “always professed his commitment to the Constitution of India and peaceful means of expressing dissent while questioning abuse of power by state executive and police.”
A statement, signed by Ravi Kiran Jain, PUCL president, and general secretary, Dr V Suresh, said, “Through the arrest of Fr Stan, the NIA is yet again sending a message to the rest of the human rights community that there is no level to which they will not stoop to silence and crush dissent.”

Text:

PUCL is shocked by and condemns the detention and arrest by NIA police team of 83 year old Fr. Stan Swamy from his residence in Bagaicha, Ranchi to take him to Mumbai to be remanded in the Bhima Koregaon (BK) case for allegedly being part of the larger conspiracy to cause unrest.
The inhuman and insincere act of the NIA authorities in arresting Fr. Stan stands out for its sheer vindictiveness for Fr Stan 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 27, 28, 29, 30 and August 6. 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 August 28, 2018 by the Pune Police then in charge of the BK case and his laptop, tablet, camera etc were seized.
PUCL states that the arrest of Fr Stan by the NIA is malicious and spiteful as Fr Stan has consistently denied any link with extremist leftist forces or Maoists. He had also clearly told the NIA that some so called extracts allegedly taken from his computer shown to him by the NIA were fake and fabricated and that he disowned them. 
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 six weeks after he was questioned the NIA kept quiet. Now as the six month period for completing investigation after the arrest of Gautam Navalakha and Anand Teltumbde on April 14, 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.
PUCL would like to point out that the true reason for NIA arresting Fr Stan Swamy is because he had dared to expose the large scale abuse of anti-terror and sedition laws by the previous BJP-led Jharkhand government. Thousands of Adivasis were falsely implicated and arrested for exercising their fundamental right of protest in the Pathalgadi movement and kept in prison without hearing.
What exposes NIA action as motivated is revealed by the fact that in October 2018, police told Bombay HC that Fr Stan was only a suspect and not an accused
Fr Stan’s meticulous documentation of the untold suffering experienced by Adivasi youth, hundreds of whom were imprisoned for no offence at all, earned the ire of the police and the State which launched a witch hunt against Fr Stan and some others in the human rights movement in Jharkhand. The data analysis of thousands of adivasis arbitrarily arrested by the police was also put in an affidavit in a PIL filed before the Jharkhand High Court which upset the Government.
Fr. Stan has always professed his commitment to the Constitution of India and peaceful means of expressing dissent while questioning abuse of power by state executive and police. Through the arrest of Fr Stan, the NIA is yet again sending a message to the rest of the human rights community that there is no level to which they will not stoop to silence and crush dissent.
PUCL demands that the NIA immediately release Fr. Stan Swamy and refrain from carrying out these arbitrary and motivated arrests of innocent law abiding citizens.

Religious Forum to protest on October 10

In a separate statement released by Fr Cedric Prakash, Gujarat-based human rights activist, the Forum of Religious for Justice and Peace has said that the NIA “did not serve a warrant on Fr Stan" while detaining him, pointing out, its behaviour was “absolutely arrogant and rude”, demanding from the Government of India his immediate “safe, unconditional and immediate release”.
Calling Fr Stan “an 83 year old, frail and peace-loving citizen of India, who has given his life in the service of the Adivasis and other marginalised sections of society”, the statement said, the NIA action “speaks volumes of the deterioration of the democratic ethos in the country”, insisting, the authorities must ensure that after more than 15 hours of interrogation he is not “victimised.”
The Forum declared its intention to observe October 10 “as the of prayer and fast and wherever possible demonstration” against “illegal” detention and incarceration of all human rights defenders and other dissenters in the Bhima Koregaon case, calling upon those cherishing “the rights and freedom enshrined in our Constitution to join us to help ensure his immediate release.”

Comments

Thanks for sharing this.

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

JP advised RSS to give up Hindu Rashtra, disband itself: Ex-IAS officer tells Modi

Counterview Desk
Major MG Devasahayam IAS (Retd), chairman, People-First, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Jayprakash Narain’s (JP’s) death anniversary (October 11) has wondered whether he remembers “a patriot called Jayaprakash Narayan”. Recalling what JP thought on issues such as communalism, freedom, democracy, Hindutva etc., Devasahayam says, Modi has been been doing “the very opposite of the principles and values for which JP lived and died.”

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

UP chief secretary, DGP have 'surrendered' to political diktat: 92 retired IAS, IPS officials

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, 92 retired IAS, IFS and IPS bureaucrats, commenting on “blatant violations of the rule law” following the Hathras incident, have blamed that the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police for abjectly failing to exercise control over a “highly compromised” administration the state.

Gujarat literati flutter: State Akademi autonomy curb a Sahitya Parishad poll issue?

By Dankesh Oza*
The 115-year-old Gujarati Sahitya Parishad is in election mode. More than 3,000 life members of the Parishad are set to elect its 52nd president and 40 plus central working committee (CWC) members, which in turn will elect its executive and two vice presidents, six secretaries and a treasurer for the coming three years (from 2021 to 2023).

Hathras reflects Manu's mindset dominates: 'Women are false, it's in their nature to seduce'

By Parijat Ghosh, Dibyendu Chaudhuri*
The woman died and then we woke up to protest. She was alive for two weeks after the heinous incident. Many of us even didn’t notice what had happened at Hathras, how she fought during the next 15 days. Those who noticed, many of them were not sure what actually had happened. So much so, we as a nation were more busy in finding out who among the Bollywood actresses were taking drugs, who smoked weed, who had ‘inappropriate’ or more than one relationship, what kind of private conversations they had in their chat boxes and what not!

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Atrocities against Dalits: Why don't MPs, MLAs from the community ever speak up?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
In Gujarat, a young Dalit activist lawyer Devji Maheshwari, belonging to the Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation (BAMSCEF) was killed in Surat, allegedly by a goon who was warning him against his Facebook posts not to speak up against Brahmanism. Facts have come to light suggesting there are other issues also which led to the murder, mostly related to land disputes, many a time ignored by activists.

Delhi riots: Even British didn't accuse Bhagat Singh of reading Lenin, Jack London

By Vikash Narain Rai*
After the #BlackLifeMatters movement seriously tested the credibility of police across America, the Houston police chief Art Acevado talked of ending “lawful but awful” policing. No comparison, but in India, a citizens’ committee comprising former top judges and bureaucrats is now set to inquire into the role of the state machinery and media in handling the February 2020 Delhi violence, which followed protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), “as the investigation by the Delhi Police has evoked extensive critical commentary in recent times.”