NEW DELHI: Condemning the judiciary for denying bail to Stan Swamy, activists said it was a dark day for Indian democracy. Swamy had repeatedly highlighted the lack of medical facilities in Navi Mumbai’s Taolja jail where he was lodged.
“The system is responsible for Swamy’s death. I strongly condemn the delay in legal procedures. Swamy will always be remembered for his work for Adivasis. Dissent cannot be suppressed. We will continue to champion human rights,” said Jharkhand-based activist Elina Horo.
All India Progressive Women’s Association secretary Kavita Krishnan blamed the government and the jail conditions.
READ EDITORIAL | Stan Swamy and the murder of justice
“It is the judiciary as a whole, and most of all the judges who denied bail, who deserve the most condemnation. Swamy appealed to them over and over, saying he could not walk, could not eat on his own, had to be spoon fed by fellow prisoners, wanted to go home to Ranchi to spend his last days among his own people... It is a judicial farce that eventually Swamy died even as yet another bail hearing was underway.”
The Peoples Union for Democratic Rights expressed outrage and termed Swamy’s death as a ‘custodial death’.
“The central government and the NIA have driven political prisoner Swamy to death. Arresting an elderly activist suffering from multiple ailments in relation to a false and malicious political case, and then letting him die in custody by opposing desperate requests for release, is nothing short of custodial murder,” said Radhika Chitkara from PUDR.
Senior advocate Karuna Nandy tweeted, “Stan Swamy has died. In custody, suffering cruel and inhumane treatment, at the hands of the State. The State owes his loved ones, and all citizens accountability. Of the individuals who made the decisions that killed him, and damages.”