Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Freedom Rule of Law

Varanasi demands justice for Fr Stan Swamy

In memory of Fr Stan, Varanasi demands release of Bhima-Koregaon accused and other political prisoners

Sabrangindia 13 Jul 2021

Samiksha Sanskrit Manch

The Samiksha Sanskrit Manch, a Varanasi-based citizens' group has demanded the release of those arrested under draconian laws.The demand was made during a tribute meeting and candle march organised on July 12, 2021 in memory of Adivasi rights activist and Jesuit priest Fr. Stan Swamy.

Many people attended the tribute meeting held at Shastri Ghat Varunapul and decried the manner in which an aged man with Parkinson’s disease was rejected bail while other hate-spewing people walk free in the country. During the meeting, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Shashi Bhushan also paid his respects to the activist by singing the revolutionary song ‘Dastoor’ in front of the group of supporters.

Later, the gathering marched with candles to the Ambedkar Murti Court to demand justice against the custodial death of Fr. Stan. Those present vehemently demanded the elimination of draconian laws like the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and investigating agencies the National Investigation Agency (NIA). They called for the release of political prisoners arrested and penalised under these laws.

Attendees also demanded an inquiry into the death of Fr Stan, who died away from his family on July 5 at Holy Family hospital in Mumbai city. The human rights activist was arrested on October 8, 2020 for alleged involvement in the Bhima-Koregaon case. He was accused of conspiring with Maoists to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

After his death, others accused in the case like Sudha Bharadwaj, Surendra Gadling, Anand Teltumbde and others condemned the incident, and observed a hunger strike to demand a judicial inquiry against jail authorities. Like Fr. Stan many of these undertrial prisoners suffer from serious medical conditions that put them at risk, especially amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Varanasi demand Justice for Fr Stan Swamy

“Father Stan’s worked in Jharkhand for more than three decades on various issues of tribal communities on land, forest and labor rights. He also raised questions on the non-implementation of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution wherein a Tribal Advisory Council is to be set up with only tribal community members for their safety, welfare and development,” said Father Prakash Lewis.

Father Stan’s legacy

Fr. Stan had advocated against the arrest of thousands of young tribals and indigenous people, labelled as ‘Naxals’. He had also opposed the idea of land banks and said that the land belonging to tribal communities should be freed and returned to them. During a similar memorial by the Jesuits of India, family members of Fr. Stan spoke of how the activist considered the Adivasi community his real family and brought up discussions about their struggle in everyday conversations.

Related:

Fr Stan Swamy’s death highlights the need to repeal UAPA
Citizens condemn Fr. Stan's institutional murder under UAPA
Jesuits of India, journalists and academics bid Fr Stan Swamy an emotional farewell
The institutional murder of Father Stan Swamy

Varanasi demands justice for Fr Stan Swamy

In memory of Fr Stan, Varanasi demands release of Bhima-Koregaon accused and other political prisoners

Samiksha Sanskrit Manch

The Samiksha Sanskrit Manch, a Varanasi-based citizens' group has demanded the release of those arrested under draconian laws.The demand was made during a tribute meeting and candle march organised on July 12, 2021 in memory of Adivasi rights activist and Jesuit priest Fr. Stan Swamy.

Many people attended the tribute meeting held at Shastri Ghat Varunapul and decried the manner in which an aged man with Parkinson’s disease was rejected bail while other hate-spewing people walk free in the country. During the meeting, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Shashi Bhushan also paid his respects to the activist by singing the revolutionary song ‘Dastoor’ in front of the group of supporters.

Later, the gathering marched with candles to the Ambedkar Murti Court to demand justice against the custodial death of Fr. Stan. Those present vehemently demanded the elimination of draconian laws like the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and investigating agencies the National Investigation Agency (NIA). They called for the release of political prisoners arrested and penalised under these laws.

Attendees also demanded an inquiry into the death of Fr Stan, who died away from his family on July 5 at Holy Family hospital in Mumbai city. The human rights activist was arrested on October 8, 2020 for alleged involvement in the Bhima-Koregaon case. He was accused of conspiring with Maoists to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

After his death, others accused in the case like Sudha Bharadwaj, Surendra Gadling, Anand Teltumbde and others condemned the incident, and observed a hunger strike to demand a judicial inquiry against jail authorities. Like Fr. Stan many of these undertrial prisoners suffer from serious medical conditions that put them at risk, especially amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Varanasi demand Justice for Fr Stan Swamy

“Father Stan’s worked in Jharkhand for more than three decades on various issues of tribal communities on land, forest and labor rights. He also raised questions on the non-implementation of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution wherein a Tribal Advisory Council is to be set up with only tribal community members for their safety, welfare and development,” said Father Prakash Lewis.

Father Stan’s legacy

Fr. Stan had advocated against the arrest of thousands of young tribals and indigenous people, labelled as ‘Naxals’. He had also opposed the idea of land banks and said that the land belonging to tribal communities should be freed and returned to them. During a similar memorial by the Jesuits of India, family members of Fr. Stan spoke of how the activist considered the Adivasi community his real family and brought up discussions about their struggle in everyday conversations.

Related:

Fr Stan Swamy’s death highlights the need to repeal UAPA
Citizens condemn Fr. Stan's institutional murder under UAPA
Jesuits of India, journalists and academics bid Fr Stan Swamy an emotional farewell
The institutional murder of Father Stan Swamy

Related Articles

Communalism

When and How Ram Vilas Paswan made a strong pitch for the Places of Worship Act, 1991

A powerful leader from Bihar, unkindly known as the shrewd weatherman of Indian politics, Ram Vilas Paswan, then a member of the National Front, spoke powerfully from the Opposition benches, in support of the proposed law and scathingly of the BJP’s destructive politics of demolishing places of worship (Babri masjid, December 6, 1991) while not sparing the Congress either

Communalism

When and How Ram Vilas Paswan made a strong pitch for the Places of Worship Act, 1991

A powerful leader from Bihar, unkindly known as the shrewd weatherman of Indian politics, Ram Vilas Paswan, then a member of the National Front, spoke powerfully from the Opposition benches, in support of the proposed law and scathingly of the BJP’s destructive politics of demolishing places of worship (Babri masjid, December 6, 1991) while not sparing the Congress either


Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Videos

India

Kashmiri Pandit Protest continues for seventh day

Multiple Protests continue, for more than seven days, over Kashmiri Pandit employee Rahul Bhat’s murder in the Valley. Supported by Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Sikhs, the protestors have come forward to accuse the BJP led administration of sending people, who are desperate for jobs, in risky areas with no security and a meagre salary.

India

Kashmiri Pandit Protest continues for seventh day

Multiple Protests continue, for more than seven days, over Kashmiri Pandit employee Rahul Bhat’s murder in the Valley. Supported by Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Sikhs, the protestors have come forward to accuse the BJP led administration of sending people, who are desperate for jobs, in risky areas with no security and a meagre salary.

IN FACT

Analysis

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Archives