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Elgar Parishad Case: Activist Stan Swamy, 84, no more

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Activist Stan Swamy, 84, an accused in the Elgar Parishad case and arrested under the anti-terror law in 2020, breathed his last on Monday. His demise comes amid a fight in the court to secure bail citing his deteriorating health condition. The activist was availing treatment at Mumbai’s Holy Family Hospital after the court issued an order in this regard on May 28.

Swamy had earlier told the Bombay High Court that his health has deteriorated in Taloja prison and he would die soon if he is not granted bail. Swamy and other accused in the case had even complained to the court of inadequate health facilities in the Taloja prison near Mumbai, where they had been jailed. They had alleged neglect by prison officials in ensuring medical aid, tests, hygiene and social distancing in the time of COVID.

He had approached court several times in the past seeking interim bail and medical treatment. The activist last week had filed a fresh bail plea in the Bombay High Court.

Elgar Parishad case

The Elgar Parishad case is related to inflammatory speeches made at a conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which, the police claimed, triggered violence the next day near the Bhima-Koregaon war memorial located on the outskirts of Pune.

The police had claimed the conclave was organised by people with alleged Maoist links. In the case, Stan Swamy and his co-accused were charged by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as being members of frontal organisations working on behalf of the banned CPI (Maoists).

Last month, the NIA had filed an affidavit before the HC opposing Swamy’s bail plea. It said there was no “conclusive proof” of his medical ailments. It alleged that Swamy was a Maoist, who had hatched a conspiracy to create unrest in the country.

Varavara Rao bail

In February this year, the Bombay High Court had granted bail for six months to octogenarian poet-activist Varavara Rao, an accused in the Bhima-Koregaon violence case, on medical grounds. He was behind bars for over two years and had spent a considerable time in hospital owing to his ripe old age and ill health.

 

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