Father Stan Swamy, a prominent tribal and human rights activist was reportedly taken into custody by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from Ranchi in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon case.
Activists known to Swamy reported that he was picked up by NIA personnel on Thursday without any warrant. Father Stan Swamy (83) is a Jesuit priest hailing from Kerala.
Anticipating the NIA action, Swamy had previously released a statement on October 6 stating, “I was interrogated by NIA for 15 hours during a span of five days – July 27, 28, 29, 30 and August 6. Apart from my bio-data and some factual information, several extracts allegedly taken from (my) computer implicating my connection to Maoist forces were placed before me. I told them all these were fabrications stealthily put into my computer and I disowned them,” he said.
“The nature of the present NIA investigation of me has nothing to do about Bhima Koregaon case in which I have been booked as a suspected accused and consequently raided twice [August 28, 2018 and June 12, 2019],” Swamy stated.
“But it had everything to do to somehow establish that I am personally linked to extremist leftist forces and through me Bagaicha [his residential campus] is also relating to some Maoists. I denied both these allegations in strongest terms,” he said.
After six weeks of silence, the activist said, he was summoned to appear at the NIA office in Mumbai.
“I have informed them that I fail to understand the need for interrogating me further given the fact I have been subjected to that for 15 hours already. I am not in a position to undertake the long journey given my age and the nature of the epidemic ravaging the country,” Swamy said.
He wanted further interrogation through video-conferencing, given the Jharkhand government’s directive that during the lockdown period elderly persons above the age of 60 should not appear in public.
The Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a forum of civil rights activists, and Dayamani Barla, a Ranchi-based activist, said Swamy had been picked up by the NIA.