“Life and death are one,
even as the river and the sea are one”
[poet Kahlil Gibran]
This was the last part of the a statement released by colleagues of Father Stand Swamy today. An hour ago, about 8 p.m, October 8, a posse of NIA officials, still on a people grab in the Bhima Koregain case, landed at an ashram in Ranchi and took Stan Swamy away.
I was interrogated by NIA for 15 hours during a span of 5 days (July 27,28,29,30, Aug. 6). Apart from my bio-data and some factual information, several extracts allegedly taken from my computer implicating my connection to maoist forces were placed before me. I told them all these are fabrications stealthily put into my computer and I disowned them.
The nature of the present NIA investigation of me has nothing to do about Bhima-Koregaon case in which I have been booked as a ‘suspected-accused ’ and consequently raided twice (28 August 2018 and 12 June 2019). But it had everything to do to somehow establish (i) that I am personally linked to extremist leftist forces, (ii) that through me Bagaicha is also relating to some maoists. I denied both these allegations in strongest terms.
After six weeks of silence, I am being summoned to appear in NIA-office in Mumbai. I have informed them
(i) that I fail to understand the need for interrogating me further given the fact I have been subjected to that for 15 hours already,
(ii) that I am not in a position to undertake the long journey given my age (83) and the nature of the epidemic ravaging the country. Besides Jharkhand State Govt has given a directive that during the lockdown period elderly persons above the age of 65 may not appear in public, (iii) that if the investigating agency wants to interrogate me further it can be done through video-conference.
If NIA will refuse to consider my request and insist that I go to Mumbai, I’ll tell them that it will not possible for me to go for the above reasons. Hoping human sense will prevail. If not, I / we must be ready to face the consequences.
Grateful to all who have stood in solidarity with me all these years.
This is the statement recorded by Fr Stan Swamy, just two days before his arrest.