Statement calls for judicial inquiry into death of Father Stan Swamy
All 10 Bhima Koregaon accused lodged at the Taloja Central Jail will go on a day-long hunger strike on July 7 to protest against the “institutional murder” of Father Stan Swamy. The 84-year-old tribal activist, who was repeatedly denied bail despite his deteriorating health, died at a Mumbai hospital on Monday.
The decision was taken by Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale, Mahesh Raut, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Gautam Navlakha, Anand Teltumbde, Ramesh Gaichor and Sagar Gorkhe, according to family members whom they spoke to from the prison.
Though they are all lodged in different barracks, they met each other on Tuesday and they shared their memories about Father Swamy. They also maintained two minutes of silence for him. The new superintendent of Taloja prison is believed to have joined them, according to family members.
In a statement released by the accused, they said that Father Swamy’s death was a very well thought out conspiracy and blame the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the former superintendent of Taloja prison, Kaustubh Kurlekar, for his death.
Arrest to death: Father Stan Swamy timeline
Their statement says, “Fr Stan was tortured by NIA and Mr Kurlekar and no opportunity was missed to harass him. Whether it was the inhuman treatment meted out to Fr Stan or his forceful transfer from JJ hospital to Taloja jail or denying him his sipper.”
The accused said these instances constitute institutional murder and hence NIA officials and Mr Kurlekar should be charged and punished. They have also sought a judicial inquiry into the death of Father Swamy.
They accused will forward their demands to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday.
The three women accused — Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen and Jyoti Jagtap — are lodged at the Byculla prison.
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