Special NIA Court Dismisses Father Stan Swamy’s Bail Plea..

The special NIA court in Mumbai has renounced the bail of Jesuit priest and activist Father Stan Swamy (83). Swamy is an activist working with the tribals of Jharkhand for decades. He was arrested from Ranchi on October 9, 2020 and is currently at the Taloja Central Jail.

Father Stan Swamy is an accused in the Elgaar Parishad Case, linked to the 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence. His lawyer Sharif Shaikh had filed the bail plea on the basis of the case as well as medical grounds. Shaikh had told the court that Swamy is suffering from Parkinson’s disease and has lost hearing and suffers from intense pain from lumbar spondylosis. Shaikh had also argued that the prosecution had failed to set up how Swamy had taken part or incited the commission of any terror activity.

Prakash Shetty, Special Public Prosecutor had contradicted the bail plea and asserted that Swamy was involved in the activities carried out by the Communist Party of India (CPI) and off-putting objects were found from him.

As per NIA, Swamy was a stalwart supporter of organisations like Vistapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan and the People’s Union for Civil Liberties and was also involved in the activities of CPI.

Shetty had yielded that during the probe, the investigating officers found inculpating evidence against him. Shetty also contended that Swamy even tried to destroy the evidence from his electronic devices which proves his involvement in the CPI.

The prosecution lawyer had expostulated that NIA has enough evidence to prove that Swamy was involved in the deep rooted conspiracy and was also involved in the Naxalite movement and for this reason, bail plea should be renounced.

During the last hearing, Judge Dinesh E Kothalikar had sanctioned the prosecution to bring on record further investigation. The case diary was shown to the court. However, additional documents provided at the nth hour were opposed by Swamy’s lawyer.

The Elgaar Parishad case is related to a public meeting organised on the eve of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 2018. According to the Pune Police, the meeting was organised by banned Naxalite groups and speeches made during this meeting were responsible for the violence happened the day after. Pune police alleged what while carrying out the investigation, it had stumbled upon the material that provided clues about the operations of a larger underground network of banned Naxalite groups. Several high-profile social activists have also been booked in the case.