A martyr for water, forest and land

December 19, 2021

Fr Xavier Jeyaraj SJ of the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat of the Society of Jesus pays tribute to the way in which Fr Stan Swamy SJ fought tirelessly until his death to amplify the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.

"Fr Stan Swamy SJ, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease and other ailments, was arrested on 8 October 2020, kept in Taloja prison in Mumbai, denied bail despite his worsening health, and died on 5 July 2021, aged 84.
"Stan was arrested by India’s National Investigating Agency (NIA) under the Unlawful Activities [Prevention] Act (UAPA), accused of plotting to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi, instigating caste violence in Bhima Koregaon in Western India in 2018, and having links with supporting an extremist Maoist group. Since Stan had never been in Bhima Koregaon, had never touched a weapon in his life, and was not ever charge-sheeted until his death (which could have been prevented by proper medical attention), many raise the question was this the ‘death’ of a prisoner in custody or a ‘murder’? If it was the latter, who killed Stan?"

You can read the rest of this article in the winter edition of Jesuits & Friends here

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