NEIRBC condoles death of Stan Swamy

Prayer mass for Stanislaus Lourduswamy in Guwahati, Tuesday

GUWAHATI: The North East India Regional Bishops’ Council (NEIRBC) on Tuesday condoled the death of Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist Stan Swamy who died on 5 July 2021.

Stan Swamy had been held in pre-trial detention without bail since his arrest last year under anti-terror law Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in connection with the Elgar Parishad case.

The health of the Jesuit priest deteriorated while he was in Mumbai’s Taloja Central Jail. His repeated applications for bail on medical grounds, however, were rejected. He died on Monday as the Bombay High Court was considering an appeal against the rejection of his bail application.

 “We fail to understand why an 84-year-old social worker, greatly weakened by diverse ailments, could not get a bail for a case in which he claimed absolute innocence,” NEIRBC deputy secretary Fr GP Amalraj said in a statement.

It has “shaken the confidence of society in the justice system and tarnished the image of the country” at the international level, Amalraj said.

“May his innocence be established and may more and more young people come forward to dedicate their lives on behalf of the poor,” he said.

The community prays for him and his close relatives, while “commending the cause of tribal growth and development to the Lord”, Amalraj added.

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