Thiruvananthapuram: Cutting across party lines, leaders in Kerala on Monday condoled the death of human rights activist Stan Swamy, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan saying such “travesty of justice should have no place in our democracy.”
Tribal rights activist and Jesuit priest Swamy (84) died at a Mumbai hospital this afternoon.
Apart from Vijayan, Minister K Rajan, Assembly Speaker M B Rajesh, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and former leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala were among those who condoled the demise of Swamy.
“Deeply saddened by the passing of Fr.Stan Swamy.
Unjustifiable that a man who fought all through his life for our society’s most downtrodden had to die in custody.
Such travesty of justice should have no place in our democracy. Heartfelt condolences!,” Vijayan tweeted.
Chandy said Swamy would remain a “painful memory” in the conscience of India, the largest democracy in the world.
“Stan Swamy was the victim of state terrorism and today is a black day for Indian democracy. He was someone who had fought for the rights of tribals till his last breath,” Chennithala said in a statement.
Chennithala also alleged that the government failed to provide treatment for Swamy.
Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Coouncil (KCBC) condoled the demise of Swamy and said he used to work for the welfare of the tribal community in Jharkhand.
“We express our deepest condolences over the demise of Stan Swamy. He was someone who fought relentlessly for the rights of the tribal community and the marginalised sections of society,” Rajesh said in a statement.
Stan Swamy was admitted to Holy Family Hospital, the private hospital where he was undergoing treatment,from Taloja prison on May 29, following the orders of the Bombay High Court on a petition filed by him, seeking medical attention as he was suffering from COVID-19 and Parkinson’s disease.
Dr Ian D’Souza, director of the hospital and the tribal rights activist’s lawyer Mihir Desai informed a bench of the Bombay High Court of his death following cardiac arrest.
Swamy was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in October 2020 and was in jail since then.