Sunday, January 29, 2023

Bhima-Koregaon accused to go on hunger strike

  • They call Stan Swamy’s death an institutional murder
  • Call for judicial inquiry into rights leader’s death
  • One-day token hunger strike on Wednesday
  • Opposition leaders urge President to act

Mumbai: Calling Father Stan Swamy’s demise as institutional death, 10 accused in incarceration at Taloja jail would go on one day token hunger strike on Wednesday. The decision was taken by Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale, Mahesh Raut, Arun Teltumbde, Vernon Gonsalves, Gautam navlakha, anand Telutumbde, Ramesh Gaichor and Sagar Gorkhe. The accused in Bhim-Korengao case in a statement said Swamy death was a very thought-out conspiracy and they blamed the NIA and the former Superintendent of Taloja jail Kaustubh Kurlekar for Swamy’s death. They called for a judicial inquiry into the death of Stan Swamy.

Friends and family members of Stan Swamy, in a statement,  said, “We are deeply pained and shaken to the core by the loss of Father Stan Swaamy. This is not a natural death, but the institutional murder of a gentle soul, committed  by an inhuman state. Having spent his life amongst the Adivasis in Jharkhand, fighting for their right to resources, Father Stan did not deserve to die in this manner.”

Other activists have health problems

Adviasi rights leader and Jesuit Priest Stan Swamy’s demise on Monday has thrown light on the other persons undergoing incarceration in Bhima-Koregaon case. Swamy at 84 was denied bail by Bombay High Court as well as Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court. There were at least six prisoners who have been denied bail on medical grounds. Poet from Hyderabad Varavara Rao who is 81 is one of them. However, Rao was granted bail for six months on health ground by Bombay High Court on 22 February 2021. He was rejected bail twice earlier. Rao’s wife Hemalatha pleaded with the court that her husband’s aliments including neurological and cardiac issues be considered and granted bail. He has piles, coronary artery disease, Oedema, acidity, sinus and migraine.

Anand Teltumbde, former MD and CEO of Petronet India Limited, who is 70 also comes under this category. He has chronic bronchitis issue, cervical spondylitis and supraspinatus tendencies.  Vernon Gonsalves, writer and columnist who is 68 is yet another. He has hypertension and bleeding pilesNavlakha has colonic polyposis, chronic gastrititis and hypertension.

Former head of department of English at Nagapur University Shoma Sen, 63, also has multiple problems including osteoarthritis, glaucoma and high blood pressure according to a report from Sonam Saigal published by The Hindu on Tuesday. .  , Trade unionist and human rights lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, 61, was also denied bail despite repeated attempts. The latest news is that she failed another application for bail on June 12. She is suffering hypertension, diabetes, osteoarthritis and skin infection. Her daughter Maaysha Singh moved the High court seeking interim medical bail for her mother. After being informed that the prisoner received medical treatment in jail, the HC on 29 May 2020  had disposed of her daughter’s plea.  On 26 June 2020, the special NIA court had for rejected the pleas filed by Varavara Rao and Sen.

Opposition leaders urge President to take action

Leaders of the opposition have urged President Ram Nath Kovind to take action against those who are responsible to foist false cases on Father Stan Swamy. In a letter to the President they said the inhuman treatment meted out to Swamy in jail had resulted in his death. The letter was signed by Sonia Gandhi, Congress president, Deve Gowda, former prime minister, M.K. Stalin, chief minister of Tamil Nadu, Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal and Hemant Soren of Jarkhand have also singed. Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar, RJD leader Tejaswini Yadav, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechuri and CPI secretary general D. Raja were among the signatories.

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