A special NIA court has denied bail to the tribal rights activist and Jesuit priest, Stan Swamy in connection to the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad Case. The 83-year old activist has been lodged in Taloja Central Jail for the past five months.
National Investigation Agency arrested Swamy on October 7 last year and then he was brought to Mumbai the next day. A charge sheet was filed against him and seven others. He has been in jail since then.
In the bail petition filed through Sharif Shaikh, Swamy submitted that his arrest was “uncalled for” and “malafide”. He further stated that his custody was not sought for over two years after the FIR was lodged which ultimately meant that he was not considered a flight risk or someone who would tamper with evidence.
The 31-page bail plea, it was submitted that Swamy has been targeted by the investigating agency due to the nature of his writings and work about caste and land struggles of the people in India and violation of the democratic rights of the marginalised citizens of India.
In the chargesheet filed, NIA claimed that Swamy is a member of banned organization CPI (Maoist). The charge sheet also claimed that Swamy was given the responsibility of spreading its activities after the arrest of other members.
In the bail plea, Swamy stated that the Persecuted Political Prisoners Solidarity Committee, which NIA had alleged to be a frontal organization of CPM, was one of the most prominent human rights organizations in Jharkhand which provides legal aid.
The petitioner had submitted that the prosecution was trying to criminalize organizations and rights activists working to provide robust legal defence. “Providing legal aid is not an unlawful activity or cannot be seen as an assistance to an unlawful association,” the plea said.