The 84 year-old Jesuit priest and activist who championed the rights and causes of the Adivasis in the far flung areas of Jharkhand was jailed last October on charges under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and was sought to be linked with the Bhima Koregaon case.
The priest’s lawyer had questioned the arrest of the Elgar Parishad case accused when the National Investigation Agency (NIA) did not want his custody even for a day.
The Bombay High Court was informed minutes before Jesuit priest Father Stan Swamy’s bail application was going to be heard that the Elgar Parishad case accused had passed away in a private hospital in Mumbai.
He was denied treatment for his various ailments including the debilitating Parkinson’s. He was denied even a sipper to drink liquids that were made available to him in jail.
The numerous appeals made to shift him out of the overcrowded Taloja jail that had seen a huge rise in Covid cases went unheeded. His appeals for bail and being sent home too were rejected.
After Bombay High Court’s intervention, he was admitted to a private hospital when his condition started deteriorating after he was infected with Covid-19. But it was too late to prevent his death in custody.