“NCHRO mourns the passing away of Fr. Stan Swamy. The institutional murder will not be forgotten”
84-year-old activist Fr. Stan Swamy, who was incarcerated on fabricated charges in the Bhima Koregaon case, passed away today, on July 05, 2021. Fr. Stan Swamy was a commendable activist and had worked for Dalits, Adivasis, and others in the state of Jharkhand.
Many had earlier raised the alarm seeing his deteriorating health and had called for his release, citing not just concern for his health but also the fact that he was incarcerated on flimsy charges.
The Bhima Koregaon case is a notorious example of activists being targeted by the Indian government for standing up for justice. A total of 15 other activists are still languishing in jail owing to trumped up charges and awaiting trial. Fr. Stan Swamy was the sixteenth activist implicated falsely in the Bhima Koregaon case, paying the price for his commitment to justice.
Earlier this year, the National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations had chosen Fr. Stan Swamy for the Mukundan C. Menon Award, an annual award reserved for stalwart human rights defenders and activists.
It had been eight months since he was in jail, and was on ventilator since the last two days in the Holy Family hospital.
The death of Fr. Stan Swamy has to be seen in the context of the overall assault on justice-loving people by the Indian government. His death is an institutional murder, one that will not be forgotten. History will remember that when the most dedicated activists were languishing in jail on false charges and their health was deteriorating, the Indian government turned a blind eye. It is the deliberate attempt to implicate activists in false cases and the negligence that follows that make the death of Fr. Stan Swamy a murder by the Indian State.