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Elgar Parishad case: Court denies bail to activist Stan Swamy

Prime News, National, Mumbai, March 23:-A special NIA court here on Monday rejected the bail plea filed by tribal rights activist Stan Swamy, arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case.

Additional sessions court judge DE Kothalikar rejected bail pleas of 83-year-old Swamy on merits as well as well as on the medical grounds.

Swamy, a Jesuit priest and activist, was arrested from Ranchi in October, 2020, and has since been lodged at the Taloja Central Jail in Navi Mumbai.

In his plea, Swamy had said that he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease and has lost the ability to hear from both his ears. He had also stated that while in the Taloja prison, he had to be shifted to the prison hospital owing to his ill health.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had opposed Swamy’s bail plea saying the probe had revealed that Swamy was a staunch supporter of organisations such as ‘Vistapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan’ and ‘People’s Union for Civil Liberties’, which were working as “fronts of the CPI (Maoist)”.

Swamy’s lawyer Sharif Shaikh had told the special court that the activist was not a flight risk and he will not jump bail.

Swamy also said in his plea that his name was not even part of the original FIR but it was added in the remand application in 2018 by the police as a suspected accused.

Swamy said he worked for Dalits and Adivasis and not for Maoists.

Shaikh had said the NIA had failed to find anything incriminating against Swamy in the raids conducted at his home in Ranchi.

Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Shetty, who appeared for the NIA, opposed Swamy’s bail application, saying he was involved with the banned Communist Party of India (CPI) (Maoist).

Shetty said Swamy was a staunch supporter of organisations such as Vistapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan and People’s Union for Civil Liberties involved in activities for CPI (Maoists).

The NIA also claimed that it had found incriminating material on Swamy’s laptop.

It said the agency had evidence to prove that Swamy was involved in the conspiracy.

Swamy’s previous medical emergency bail plea on the ground that he was susceptible to contract coronavirus while in prison, was rejected by the NIA court soon after his arrest.

Swamy then filed the present bail plea in November 2020.

The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at the ‘Elgar Parishad’ conclave, held at Shaniwarwada in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon- Bhima war memorial located on the city’s outskirts.

The Pune Police claimed the conclave was backed by Maoists.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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